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At a recent workshop I attended another writer shared these writing suggestions for revision:

From: Michael
Sent on: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 4:22 PM



I thought it was good advice.  Here it goes, if this helps any,I wish you the best with it.  And perhaps we can even discuss some of this after the critique at our next meeting.


From Evernote: Revision Rules Sacrifice your modifiers - get rid of adverbs, cut down on adjectives - concentrate on nouns and verbs
Consider the rhythm - long sentences followed by short sentences, one of each of the basic sentence types (simple, compound, complex, compound/complex, fragment, runon) replace "to be" and "to have" - they are lazy simplify tenses (choose your tense the way you choose your voice) kill your parentheticals - include your parentheticals as part of your text unless the interruption is necessary  avoid alliteration - poetry is more musical and can get away with it, but it might get in the way of your prose - don't fall into iambic pentameter rethink abstraction - there's no abstract thought in prose writing that isn't better illustrated through action - write a scene illustrating your idea use figurative language sparingly - avoid similes and metaphor, and concentrate instead on other forms of Greek rhetoric - metaphors should be surprising, items compared having the greatest possible distance between them engage all the senses - taste and touch are rarely used and are powerful cut the last sentence - challenge your notion of what an "ending" is: trust your reader to know what the ending should be: prose writing is fractal - what works for the whole will work for pieces of the whole read the passage aloud - read to someone else and see how they join in the communal spirit of the piece put the draft away - integrate premeditation and commitment into your writing do all this 12-20 times TIPS:
  • Don't pay attention to publication
  • Honor the piece you're creating - be humble (don't write to impress others)
  • Have faith (both that you'll learn what you need to learn and that there will be progress)
  • Pay attention to what other people are doing
  • Heaven lies in the details
  • Readers should see what they believe the writer sees, which is different than what the writer actually sees
  • Writers don't work from actual life, but from the memory of details that re-create the whole
  • Because the reader fills in the missing details, it creates a more "real" scene
  • Stories are both wave & particle - shape is the wave, details are the particle
  • Dreams don't have any real background but feel real because what detail they have reinforces that background
  • details are the plate on which the story arrives - if well done, they will seem accurate even when they are not
  • Readers are looking for a reason to quit your story - editors even more so
  • Description establishes the primacy of a writer's vision: his authority
  • The actual act of imagining details helps ground the writer in the scene, as well as helping the reader
  • Writing is not to impart a vision of the world, but to explore what the world is
  • Life is made of accumulated details - in fiction, everything is important
  • Details control the pace of narration - slows the act of a story, acts as a dramatic device, allows for buildup of tension

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