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Pencil vs. Eraser: The Art & Craft of Revision

  • The Writer's Workshoppe and Imprint Books 820 Water Street Port Townsend, WA, 98368 United States (map)



Thornton Wilder once said, "There are passages in every novel whose first writing is the last. But it's the joint and cement between those passages that take a great deal of rewriting."

Completing the first draft of a novel or memoir is a moment like no other. But it is the moments that follow—those days, weeks, months of rewriting and revision—that will determine the depth, resonance, strength and ultimately, the marketability of your narrative. Yet, the revision process confounds many a writer, either out of terror over the size of the task ahead, or out of fear of messing with the shimmering, magical beauty of that first draft. This workshop will help allay those fears, and yes, we will mess with that shimmering first draft!

Revision is far more than correcting grammatical errors and fine-tuning your prose. A story with weak characters and a poorly-executed plot cannot be fixed with Spellcheck. We will take a look at story structure, character development, the all-important opening pages, dig into a scene or two, and look at some of your writer's tics. The goal is to help you develop a revision plan and kickstart your rewriting to move you into the next drafts.

Please be at or near completion of the first draft of your work-in-progress. You will need a laptop, as we will be working on that draft throughout the workshop.