The Revising and Editing Workshop

This is an open thread for announcements, questions, and self-introductions for the Revising workshop (May 2021).

I’ll also share links to the “writing rooms” here (live small group sessions where you can talk to other writers and try out guided prompts / writing tasks).

If you have registered the workshop, please introduce yourself here:

  • Location and time zone
  • One unimportant / not-very-useful skill or talent you have
  • The one thing you’re most hopeful that the workshop will teach about revising and editing

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If you want to register with the early bird pricing, you can get your seat booked here:

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Wisconsin (a small town just north of Milwaukee) so I’m in the Central Zone.
Visualizing time.
I need a system. I don’t know if it’s possible, but are there things to look for or methods to address the following: Are pace and tension right? Does the middle sag? Am I hitting the plot points hard enough? Is each scene carrying its load and moving things forward? Is the POV deep enough? Are character voices distinctive and consistent? Too much talky business? Not enough description? I have tools for grammar and spelling. I have lists of words to search and destroy. I even have ProWritingAid that highlights sticky bits and sentence length. It’s overwhelming. I need a system or order for editing.

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Moscow, Idaho, Pacific
Can’t think of an unimportant / not-very-useful skill or talent!
How to read my writing like a reader. I have a hard time getting out of my head and into a generic reader’s head.

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That’s great, Celeste. I need to add how to read like a reader to my list.

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  • I’m also in S. Wisconsin [Waves to Jen - I’m over by Janesville!]
  • I’m a very strong counter-puncher. If I miss the march my first time around, I learn quickly and make very good changes when I get feedback that something could be fixed
  • …but that’s the trick, isn’t it? Finding the right people to give you good feedback
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Yo, Johne in Janesville! Go Packers.

My location: I’m in Columbus, Ohio. Eastern time.

One not very useful skill: I’m left handed but can write on a vertical surface quite legibly with my right.

Hopes for the workshop: Simply, I would like to build some kind of revising game plan. There’s a lot of reasons for this, but mainly I do better with a structure I can reference and build from. Also, I tend to revise as I write because I often have trouble retrieving words and that wreaks havoc on all sorts of things. Once I get something into language I want to hang on to it, but I know revising as you write isn’t a very productive way to do things. Right now, I try to just note them down but in a novel length work that gets messy quickly. So I’m wanting to develop some kind of tandem process that lets me focus on writing but helps me capture things in a useful way when language gets slippery.

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Jen G (tatteredpage), you’ve described my writing process to a T. I’ve done a couple NaNoWriMos, and I’m having a heck of a time remembering the changes I thought of, but couldn’t go back to and keep up my word count. I like to edit what I wrote the previous day, to at least remind myself what I wrote before continuing on. I’ve never had consistency issues with stories I’ve written this way. But then, I didn’t have any idea about story structure and character arcs, so they weren’t really novels.

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Charlottesville, VA; EST

I remember directions and city layouts for places I haven’t seen in decades, though I can’t remember what I watched on tv a week ago.

Often a first draft has a raw energy that seems to dissipate with every revision. I’d like to have a better sense of when to smooth that energy out and when to let it loose. When should a darling be murdered and when should it be enticed into a gingerbread house? No, not to worry, don’t expect to get there with one workshop!

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The site is ready! You’ll be “imported” into the site later today or tomorrow – expect a welcome email from me shortly…

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How did your meeting room / VoiceVoice session go?

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Like any new app, it took some getting used to. With the warning not to click the “next” button, I think we may have been leery of pushing ANY buttons for fear of screwing up. But we very cautiously poked around. Big thank you to Paige Theriot. She was a great facilitator.

Very Important: Chrome is the preferred browser. Avoid using Safari. It works but doesn’t interface completely with VoiceVoice. For example, one cannot choose to use a webcam instead of their computer cam.

With regard to the significant differences between VoiceVoice and Zoom (with which many people are familiar) it doesn’t seem like one can use an avatar or virtual background (no big deal), but I couldn’t see how one could change their name in their video window. I wish I could have edited mine.

The private room was interesting. The writing prompt was obscured. I found a narrow viewing window to scroll through the whole prompt and found the box where I could type, but it was like viewing one line of text at a time only. This glitch, however, may have been unique to Safari, and, as I mentioned, VoiceVoice does not like Safari.

Thank you for giving us a trial run before the actual event. We will all be much more prepared.

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Thank you, Jen, for this feedback! I will see what improvements I can make before the event :slight_smile:

There was a guy from VoVo that popped in during the session and we told him about the issues. So, they know. The key is to let participants know in advance that they will get better results using Chrome.

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I’m Ronda from Sonora, California. Thats a rural community close to Yosemite.
My secret skill is cooking. It’s a secret because I do not like to do it but I can.
I’m partway through my memoir. One of those abused as a child and finds peace in later life. I hope to make it fresh by including my observations as a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. My draft so far is telling about my experiences instead of showing. I want to know how to revise it so that the reader connects to my story. I want to get rid of my annoying habit of withing in passive voice.

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It went well, after I was able to get it to cooperate with my microphone. On my end the test did recognized the mic and showed it to be unmuted, but no one could hear me. I refreshed the page, then the entire browser, then restarted my laptop but didn’t get anywhere. I also tried a plug-in mic, ran debugging, and checked audio settings, everything. What finally worked, weirdly, is that I fired up Zoom to see if I experienced the same problem there (I didn’t) but when I went back to VoiceVoice whatever was causing the issue had cleared up. That took about 30 minutes of the session and I thought I’d missed everyone but but fortunately I caught up with the group when they moved into another room so I still got to meet and chat with everyone for a few minutes.

I’m thinking that for the workshop I’ll probably fire up zoom first to be on the safe side, lol. But I’m glad that there’s also a chat function available as an alternative.

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I had this same issue with my microphone at the beginning of the session, but I was able to resolve it within a few minutes. I also noticed, like @Jen, that the prompt box was narrow and partially obscured. I was using Firefox, so I don’t think the problem is with any particular browser. Otherwise, it went well.

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I’m asking them to try to fix that!

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Met some really nice people from around the world! Looking forward to the workshop.

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