For those who might be curious, it's Holly Lisle's "How to Revise Your Novel Workshop" The tag line of the course is:
Create the book you want from the book you have.
*bouncing in my seat, raising my hand and waving it around* "Oh, me, me, me! I want to have the book I want rather than what I ended up with."
I'm 7 weeks in and my revision paradigm has completely shifted. Revision isn't just about tweaking here and fixing there, it's about clearing out the deadwood so that your vision can shine.
Here are some of the more specific things I've learned:
- My NaNo book is as bad of a train wreck as I thought.
- I have to consciously decide what I want the reader to feel for each scene and with the characters. If I read a scene and the only emotion I feel is "Ummmm" then that scene is not working.
- The importance of first impressions and the implicit promise you make with how much attention you give to details. For example, if the real ugly statue on a pedestal isn't critically important to the main plot, don't spend half a page describing it.
- Your setting is as much a character as your characters, and there has to be a reason your story takes place where it does. If it could happen anywhere, then you have a problem.
- You have to know why your story matters. And it's much better to know that before you start rather than after your done and realize you went off on some rough draft tangents that really have nothing to do with the theme you want.
- Every good scene needs a protagonist, an antagonist, some conflict, and some sort of change.
- Look at the big, overarching problems before starting in at the line by line edits, because you might waste your time making a paragraph/scene/chapter just right, only to realize you have to cut it.
- The rough draft that is making me cringe can only get better; it won't get any worse. *Whew!*
- I can do this! (Which means you can, too.)