Ah, more revising & the benefits thereof

“Either they were going to give it to me sometime before I popped off or not at all.” ~ Doris Lessing, winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature

On to more literary things, though unawarded. I had an excellent meeting with my thesis advisor, Marjorie Sandor, last Friday. I had given her a 25-page piece that I was really invested in, but I wasn’t sure if it was just an indulgence on my part.

By the end, the protagonist hadn’t really changed; there was too much exposition about the protagonist (though glorious and interesting, of course); the flashback scenes were too long and detailed, making them hard to distinguish from the present action; and I’d created a great intro and closing setting at the Houston Zoo but then spent most of the story in the potentially clichéd setting of Thanksgiving dinner with family. I was afraid it was un-salvageable.

But Marjorie to the rescue. She helped me see that I’d actually written quite a bit of salvageable material. It was just a true early draft. I just needed to focus on a few things and cut the other indulgences (yes, some of them were) and make more use of the zoo setting. That was last Friday and I’m still energized from the meeting.

I just turned in a different story for workshop yesterday so now I can focus on revising this story for the next workshop. Of course, I also have to work on revising another story to give to Marjorie next Monday.

I suppose I need to make an effort to tie all of this in with the quote. I guess I actually don’t have to, but I want to. I’ll make the obvious observation that Doris Lessing had to do revision, too, and look what it got her.



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