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The revisions to my picture book project are far from complete but I believe the manuscript needs to rest and rise before I can significantly improve on what I have. I'm pleased with the progress I've made over the last couple of weeks but the little man (my muse)  needs to go off and find the file on how to solve some of the remaining issues.

So now I'm about to tackle the revision process for my MG fantasy adventure. Ack! I'm standing at the base of the Drakensberg mountains and I'm not sure how to get to the top. Step by step right? Choose a path and get hiking.

The step by step thing made me think about Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life and so, rather than start on my revisions, I decided to read the chapter on plot.

Anne writes: “Plot grows out of character. If you focus on who the people in your story are, if you sit and write about two people you know and are getting to know better day by day, something is bound to happen.”

Lamott says that we need to find out what our characters care the most about because then we'll realize what's at stake. Something must be at stake for there to be tension. Without tension the reader will not turn the page. "Think of a hockey player- there had better be a puck out there on the ice, or he is going to look pretty ridiculous.”

Because I am such a fan of lists, I am going to list what is at stake for all of my characters, minor ones too. This will give me (and the little man) something to think about as I read through my draft and make the easy changes. This will be my analysis, list and sticky note phase of revisions. Before I can get the revisions started, I need to find out where I stand.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
May. 22nd, 2009 01:31 am (UTC)
It's all the spinach and broccoli. They're brain food, you know. And/or the demon in the sauna took possession of the both of you.
May. 23rd, 2009 12:10 pm (UTC)
They're not just brain food. Just saying.
May. 23rd, 2009 12:13 pm (UTC)
Yes, I'm inspired by the view. Makes me a little homesick too.

Each retreat has given us a little take home, hasn't it. Last year it was spinach for me, carrots in the salad for you. This year it is the mind meld.
May. 22nd, 2009 01:30 am (UTC)
That Bird in Hand book is awesome. ;)

I think your list idea is an excellent one. Sounds like the sort of thing that will work for you, and also like a good jumping-off point from which to employ some of the thematic suggestions Cindy and Linda made during that theme workshop at NESCBWI. Just saying.

You know I'll be cheering for you. And possibly pushing you up the hill.
May. 23rd, 2009 12:14 pm (UTC)
With a lot of puffing and panting (and pushing), I'll get to the top.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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