Carve Away on that Pumpkin

For the Halloween Week Writing Tips, today’s offering is about carving. Your draft is the pumpkin, your paring knife or battery-powered pumpkin carver (yes, they sell them!) is your revision tool. Let’s follow the layers of revision to that slimy, seedy first step.
Writing Tip for Today: The first step is always the messiest. Revise for premise, theme, scenic logic and tension. This is where you open your manuscript and scoop out the gooey innards. For me, that means being brave enough to carve out scenes, characters or sub plots that don’t pull their weight. I usually copy the doc into a new doc before I start the surgery, and don’t delete the original for a while. That way, I still have the original in case I cut too deep. Or, this could be my way of hanging onto every word I’ve written. I advise writers to make use of support (some kind of feedback or crit group) as you go through this step., because it’s likely you don’t have the necessary objectivity.
Try This! Get out your pumpkin. Make sure to have a plan before you cut. Chocolate doesn’t hurt, but a kind but honest crit partner might make this step less painful.

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About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

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