Friday, September 20, 2013

REAL REVISION by Kate Messner

I won a copy of REAL REVISION at a writing workshop. The timing couldn't have been better since I'm in the middle of revising a novel, tentatively titled, FAR FROM PERFECT.

Kate Messner writes, "When I'm revising one of my novels for young readers, I ask myself one question over and over again: What is this piece really about?"I read that sentence at exactly the right time in my revision. I was struggling with a subplot, asking myself whether it should stay or go.

Kate continues, "Asking that question repeatedly--What is this piece really about?--always helps me through the revision process because I can decide what to work on, what to keep or delete, and what to develop more thoroughly."

My subplot had to go and the manuscript is more cohesive because of it.

I highly recommend Kate Messner's book for teachers looking for ways to teach revision in the classroom, but it's also useful for writers in need of practical revision tips.


  1. An excellent focusing question to posit to self. Now I feel blank...
    Ahah! Once you have an answer, you also got a pitch.

  2. Yes, it also helps you define your pitch. Good stuff!

  3. Thanks for telling me about this book, Shannon. I hadn't heard of it. Kate is such a wonderful writer, this must be useful.

  4. You are very welcome. I think you'd find it useful.