Skip to main content

Revising for the Read Aloud

Dear Kim (and friends!),

I attended a workshop last week with Sarah Aronson, Cori McCarthy, Emma Dryden, Laura Sibson, and Mary Winn Heider. The workshop, GETTING TO KNOW YOUR NOVEL, was part online/part on-site. And, let me tell you, for as fabulous as the lectures were online, the retreat opened my eyes to so many discoveries.

THANKS, Sarah, Cori, Emma, Laura, and Mary!
Most of the week I spent with Allie and Jess... my dearest fictional friends. Allie and Jess travel with the carnival for their final summer together. The critiques received at this workshop helped me shape the story I want to write (which, turns out, is different from the one I wrote 😁). I'm journaling tons of new backstory and exploring the relationship between Allie and Jess.

💜 Emma Dryden 💜 gave a three hour lecture on REVISION. (That's not a typo-- 3 hour lecture!) And it was captivating. Some of her tips are already in my rotation. (I wrote about them last week.) 

Emma gave us pages and pages of revision tips. She talked about reading the work out loud. Now, you will recall, I love hearing the monotone wondrousness of Natural Reader reading my drafts aloud. Hearing the story provides one more sensory experience in getting the words to marry.


For all of my Natural Reader love, do you know that I read very little of my own work out loud? I let the computer read it. I may read sections out loud. But not the novel. Yikes! The weird thing is, whenever I write a picture book, I read and reread that thing aloud six million times. So, WHY not the novels?

Emma gave the READ IT OUT LOUD tip, but it wasn't until Sarah made us stand at a podium and read a scene out loud that I really got the impact that this method could have for my work. I read from Killer.

As I was selecting a scene to read I really started thinking about what it would sound like out loud. So I read it OUT LOUD. And suddenly I saw all the things. This scene that I'd highlighted. This scene that I thought was as close to ready as I could get it. This scene opened up before me and showed me what it had to offer.

Exhibit A:
As close as I thought I could get it.

Exhibit B:
Closer... Thanks to the read aloud.

Now, if you could just drive up here and pull this draft from my clutched hands, I might be able to send it in.

So much love,

P.S. Welcome! Welcome! To all of our new followers. We are glad you're here. Hope you enjoy our book reviews and wonderings about the writing process. I wonder how you tackle revision? I also wonder if you, my new friend, will come assist Kim in pulling this draft from my clutches? 😘


Popular posts from this blog

FIRST SNOW by Bomi Park: Classroom Activity and Review

Dear Kim,

Let it snow!
Let it snow!
Let it snow!

We had fun with Bomi Park's gorgeous FIRST SNOW last week. We used the book as a mentor text to explore personal narratives and poetry.  We also explored watercolor resist techniques. (We also made a mess-- which is kind of my modus operandi during writing workshop. Sorry, Kelley!)

I used the sentence starter from the jacket copy:
Look up. One flake falls, then another. And just like that—it's __ __ __ __ __ __ __ .

The kids worked cooperatively at their table groups to discuss what word might fill in the blank. I love hearing them chat. 
"Well it is a snowflake because 'one flake'." 
Followed by: "No. It has seven letters, snowflake has nine." 
And: "It is an action. A-- what's that called-- a verb because it is something falling." 
Eventually we filled in the blank by using spelling clues to check our thinking, which might not sound like a whole lot of fun, but spelling is awesome and totall…

New Adult Scavenger Hunt: Team Green's Lynn Stevens, Author of Full Count

Dear Alison and friends,It's that time of year again...Time for the New Adult Scavenger Hunt!!!!! 

Welcome to the New Adult Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was inspired as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! 
**KIM BONUS: I included my own RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY at the bottom. Don't forget to enter to win some free books!! 
At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team!But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 96 hours!
Go to theNew Adult Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are TWO contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the Green Team–but there is also a Blue Team for a ch…

Found Poetry with Kwame Alexander's BOOKED

Dear Kim (and friends!!),

Our students are nearing the finish line (teachers too.) A quick sprint to the end is all that we have left.

At our school, the students literally speak in terms of "finish lines", "touchdowns", and "goals". Not because of the annual field day, but because of the new reading program. The final unit in the American Reading Company's curriculum is SPORTS FICTION.

No SPORTS FICTION unit would be complete without a poem from Mr. Kwame Alexander. But, what Kwame book to discuss? CROSSOVER? BOOKED? THE PLAYBOOK?

Since many students are shin guard-deep in soccer right now, I picked BOOKED. In this verse novel, Kwame Alexander uses a variety of poetry styles to bring his main character, Nick Hall, to life. Nick is obsessed with soccer. When he becomes sidelined, books are his new game.

The lesson:

After reading from the book, we "borrowed" one poem and used it as a seed for our own poetry. Students were able to highlight up …