Monday, February 21, 2011

How to Re-work It

Here's a bit of doggerel I wrote this weekend during SCWC. It was after my query class yesterday--which was a great group, by the way--and I just wrote it so I had an excuse to go to Ed Decker's Poetry Cram workshop. What fun to listen to so many talented poets!
Anyway, this is for all the hard-working writers out there who, inspired by all the comments, critiques, and insights shared with them, are already busily re-working their stories, chapters, scenes, and lines.

How to Re-work It
Make it much tighter, make it much shorter
Clarify structure, define every border
Speed the pace, describe the place
Focus on detail--is it ale or porter?

Know your characters, find your antagonist
Of behaviors and habits, make a long list
Learn to know, then let it go
Distill and simplify it down to the gist

Find the humor, keep the pathos, see it from above
If the conflict or drama flags, give a gentle shove
Rewrite it again, rework that refrain
And don't forget to do it all from a place of love


Next Saturday is my editing workshop at San Diego Writers, Ink. The location is downtown San Diego--visit their site for more info.
Hope to see you there.
Hasta pronto!