Sunday, September 14, 2014

Gennifer Choldenko: Down and Dirty Revision Tips

Gennifer Choldenko, acclaimed author of Al Capone Does My Shirts, shares advice on Revision.


  • Seek out great critiquers who will tell you the truth.
  • Don't be defensive--try to save your comments by taking notes and giving it time to sink in.
  • Don't critique yourself too much on the first draft.
  • Don't spend too much time on the first chapter when drafting.
  • Writing plot can be learned, writing characters is much harder. 
  • Backstory must be leaked in sparingly so that your readers are dying to know the rest. 
  • Do a 'word search' to make sure you're not to repetitive. Also 'word search' your characters to check to see if they're dialogue is consistent with their characterization.
  • Do your research. Try to recreate setting as best you can. 
  • Be patient--it's part of the game.
  • Honor your instincts. Stay true to your story--if it doesn't feel right, don't do it.
  • Try to develop a love for revision. 

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