By Lisa Lopez Snyder
I’m at that stage of revision where I’m taking workshop feedback on my short fiction and making decisions: Do I cut this sentence? Should I move this part up, move that back? What’s a better, stronger word? Does this make my character more authentic?
Revising can seem like trudging up a long hill you just slid down. But does it always have to feel so daunting? I guess it means you need to feel the pain to get to the joy.
Writing always seems so much easier, and with a few handy mantras by my side, I usually feel spurred forward. There’s the straightforward Nike slogan, “Just Do It.” Another one is my own: “It doesn’t write itself.” I admit, they are admonishments, but they work for me. So…why not put together something to help with revisions?
Here are a few ideas. See what you think, and if you have any more, please comment. I need some help up the hill!
• Start in the middle and see what happens.
• You’re more than halfway there.
• Tell me what it’s like to be that character in that scene.
• Read it aloud.
• At least there’s a story to work with.
• That wasn’t so hard.