Erin Murphy talked about the art of revision. She advised us to see our manuscripts with fresh eyes. She shared the following tips to help:
- Apply Darcy Pattison's shrunken manuscript technique.
- Outline after you've written a first draft.
- Employ the nine steps for plotting fiction (found on Verla Kay)
- Use wordle.net to look for overused words.
Joyce Sweeney started by telling writers to "be in scene almost all the time." She advised using the first part of a scene to orient the reader (e.g. who, what, when, where). She asked us to consider what each particular scene means to the novel as a whole. To remember that each chapter needs its own arc.
Krista Marino lectured about voice. There are two kinds: authorial voice, which she defined as the fingerprint of an author, think Stephen King and Meg Cabot. The second kind is narrative voice, which she called "the character's voice."
Elements that contribute to voice include:
- Diction - Word choices.
- Perspective - Mental view.
- Characterization - Appearance, age, gender, education level, ambitions, motivations.
Krista said the #1 element missing from most manuscripts she receives is interior monologue. She read us a passage from REVOLUTION by Jennifer Donnelly without interior monologue, and then she read the same passage with the interior dialogue inserted. The manuscript was much richer and more interesting with the right amount of interiosity included.
Krista reminded us that when you're young everything feels like the end of the world. She said to write effectively for teens, we should erase adult perspective and in our minds go back to high school everyday. We need to actually listen to teens to get their dialogue just right.
The workshop provided lots of great tips, and I'm summarizing an entire days worth of notes. If anything is unclear, post a question and I'll try and answer it.