Tuesday, April 11, 2017

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.



But...
But...
Kim! 
Kim!!! 

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,
Alison


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? 😘