Real revision

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  • Why I love revision – feeling like a competent writer.Drafting: vision in my head comes up against the reality of the writer I am today.“The book in my mind” poemRevision is what allows us to bring the book on the page closer to that dream-book
  • 2008 I sent agent a manuscript - Her thoughts: love character, funny, but….seasonal?Eesh.“Does it really have to be about the Nutcracker? Could it be about a school play or something?”
  • REVISION IS ABOUT SEEING IDEAS IN A DIFFERENT WAY
  • Start with the starting over part – so that by the end of this two hour workshop you’ll like me again.
  • 2008 I sent agent a manuscript - Her thoughts: love character, funny, but….seasonal?Eesh.“Does it really have to be about the Nutcracker? Could it be about a school play or something?”
  • So this sea monster walks into his therapist’s office….
  • Jo - In the early versions of Lessons From A Dead Girl, Leah doesn't die! The book leads up to Lainegettnig the courage to face her in the hospital. Obviously, it had a different title then. :-)
  • Jody Feldman wrote a book called “The Eleventh Level” personal mystery + story about secret society – agent asked her to strengthen the secret society part, but then the book was 80K – too long for this particular MG. Split it off – secret society book is this one – other book might be for another day.
  • Sarah Aronson changed a major character from a guy to a girl and rewrote – found that the story worked much better and allowed her to develop a main theme of the book.
  • Both this and courage has no color –started as picture books and grew into MG. And I think this is a great idea – that our books can grow into any number of things…
  • When you see this symbol…. Fire up your laptop or get your notebook ready.
  • Linda calls this “the spine” - What is at the center of your work? Why does it even exist? Why does this story need to be told? Universal human truth – even in funny books.
  • Writing workshop at NESCBW a couple years ago - It was a poetry workshop with Kelly Fineman – but I used it to develop this MC’s father in EOTS. I can’t remember the original assignment – but this is what grew out of it and it was important for me and for Jaden’s dad. (By the way – you should feel free to do this, too – if you come up with something better during writing prompt, do your better thing and you can credit me when you give your workshop later on)
  • Three false starts – back to brainstorming/outlining every time.
  • Mystery organizer – crime in the middle – then elements – suspects, motives, clues, false clues, etc. You can make your own – just list important elements of your particular genre.
  • Class schedules – when would Claire & Natalie be together? How would they grow apart? Develop friendship troubles issue.
  • When you see this symbol…. Fire up your laptop or get your notebook ready.
  • General words & phrases are your enemy. Green shirt – there are a million kinds of green – new grass green, alligator pond green, pine woods green – and you’ll notice that my metaphors all come from nature because that’s the world I love best – a kid might describe his shirt as “cafeteria peas green” or “my mother’s emerald earrings green”Be surprising – the best descriptions describe us because we’ve never thought of it that way before – even though that’s the perfect word or phrase.
  • Ponytail – What would that stick look like to the girl on the right? Coming at her face like that? And then you can do sounds, smells…etc.
  • Smirk on her face – character inspiration for Sarah in WAKE UP MISSING.
  • Also went on twitter – other than blushing, what do you do when you’re embarrassed?
  • When you see this symbol…. Fire up your laptop or get your notebook ready.
  • Inspiration boards – don’t worry about people “stealing” your ideas. Really.
  • SUGAR AND ICE – Claire & the maple farm - Green – scenes on farm, salmon – lake placid – purple-competition – red – sabotage -
  • Known issues while working – starting place List after 1st read-through after completion
  • Why I love revision – feeling like a competent writer.Drafting: vision in my head comes up against the reality of the writer I am today.“The book in my mind” poemRevision is what allows us to bring the book on the page closer to that dream-book
  • Titles change – a lot. Be ready for this and be at peace with it. Marketing dept. etc. Let them do their job. BRILLIANT FALL OF GIANNA Z. – SWINGER OF BIRCHES – MAPLE GIRL, “THAT STUPID LEAF COLLECTION BOOK”
  • Real revision

    1. 1. REAL REVISION: Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk Kate Messner Dublin Literacy Conference 2013http://www.katemessner.com
    2. 2. So…what are you writing these days?
    3. 3. Revision shouldnot be a surprise.
    4. 4. Assignment:Write for three minutes,describing a place thatyou love.
    5. 5. WHAT REVISION ISN’T… Spell Checking Hiring a professional editor Solitary A process with a single correct solution or end point
    6. 6. http://devilduck.tumblr.com/post/3834151230
    7. 7. WHAT REVISION ISBrainstorming Free-Writing (and maybestarting over)
    8. 8. Princess Marty Frog-Slime and theNutcracker Ballet
    9. 9. Confessions of a Sea Monster
    10. 10. “Well…This is funny. But itsounds more like a New Yorker cartoon than a book for kids.”
    11. 11. What if thingsturned outdifferently?
    12. 12. TwoBooks in One?
    13. 13. Who’sthat guy girl?
    14. 14. Considering different formats
    15. 15. Draft 1Draft 2 Draft 3 Draft 4
    16. 16. Time to Write!Sometimes poem…
    17. 17. WHAT REVISION IS Finding & Strengthening the Heart of a project
    18. 18. This book is about_________________________________________________________________________________________. (But underneath that, it’s reallyabout__________________________________________________________________________________________.
    19. 19. My book is about a figureskater from a small-townmaple farm who earns ascholarship to train with theelite in Lake Placid & discoversa world of mean girls on ice.But underneath that, it’s reallyabout making a decision tofollow your own dreamsinstead of the dreams that arechosen for you.
    20. 20. My book is about a futureworld where killer tornadoesare widespread and four kidsat a science camp who aretrying to stop them butdiscover a terrifying secret.But underneath that, it’s reallyabout using your powers forgood.
    21. 21. This book is about_________________________________________________________________________________________. (But underneath that, it’s reallyabout__________________________________________________________________________________________.
    22. 22. WHAT REVISION IS65 Off-Draft WritingPrompts to Jump- Start Revision
    23. 23. Write ametaphor-poemdescribingone of yourcharacters,in anothercharacter’svoice.Thanks, Kelly Fineman!
    24. 24. If yourpoem/essay/personal narrative/research papercould talk back toyou right now, whatwould it say?
    25. 25. WHAT REVISION ISCharts, maps, timelines, &outlines
    26. 26. More Ideas… • Map the setting – note important events • Chapter by chapter timelines• Plot charts with rising/falling action • Outline (after writing) to identify weak chapters
    27. 27. Big-Picture Story Chart - What characters, settings, objects, jokes,themes, and threads are important in your project? Are they woven consistently throughout the text?
    28. 28. WHAT REVISION ISConsidering all five senses.
    29. 29. Time to Revise!Sometimes poem… Add SMELLS
    30. 30. WHAT REVISION ISReturning to Research
    31. 31. WHAT REVISION ISDetails and Word Choice Be specific. Be surprising.
    32. 32. Look for delicious details
    33. 33. Look for delicious details
    34. 34. Google Maps – Street View
    35. 35. Role Play!Replace Tired Body Language
    36. 36. ** Role Play!Replace Tired Body Language ANGRY FRUSTRATED ANXIOUS SCARED JOYFUL-EXCITED DEPRESSED
    37. 37. WHAT REVISION ISBeing a Word Ninja
    38. 38. Readers are Smart Don’t keep repeatingyour points to make sure they “get it.”
    39. 39. very really just that “whatlooked like”
    40. 40. JUST IN THATAND MOMENTRATHER SOBEGAN TO A BITAS I GUESSTHOUGH MAYBETHEN THATBUT VERYALWAYS REALLY
    41. 41. Watch for “pet” stories,ideas, themes, phrases…
    42. 42. Brainstorm: Whatwords, phrases, &pet stories are on your personal“MOST WANTED” list?
    43. 43. Time to Revise! ***Sometimes poem… Cut at least 20 words
    44. 44. WHAT REVISION IS Being Social-Critique Groups/Partners
    45. 45. Post-It Note CritiquesORANGE = “I LOVE THIS!” GREEN = “I’M BORED.”YELLOW=“I’M CONFUSED”
    46. 46. WHAT REVISION ISTechnology Tools of the Trade
    47. 47. Scrivenerhttp://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php
    48. 48. WHAT REVISION IS Making Lists……and getting to work!
    49. 49. Five Reasons KidsDon’t Want to Revise(and what teachers can do about it) Kate Messner http://www.katemessner.com
    50. 50. REASON #1“But I just FINISHED.And I like my paper the way it is.”
    51. 51. SOLUTION: Start the revisionconversation early.
    52. 52. After We Write… REVISION – PART I REVISION – PART 2 REVISION – PART 3
    53. 53. REASON #2“I already ran a spell check. I’m good.”
    54. 54. SOLUTION: Teach students thedifference betweenrevising and editing.
    55. 55. REASON #3“I don’t know where to start.”
    56. 56. SOLUTION: Have a revisionchecklist ready…
    57. 57. Student Critique Partners• Trade papers with a partner•Use highlighters to indicate thefollowing: •Pink = Consider cutting this part. •Green = I’m confused now. •Orange = Use more vivid details/precise language. •Yellow = This part works really well!•In the margin next to each color (oron a Post-It note), write a noteexplaining your highlighting and
    58. 58. REASON #4 “I did revise. Justnow. It’s not my fault I’m a fast reviser.”
    59. 59. SOLUTION: Teach multiplestrategies for revision.
    60. 60. A Shrunken ManuscriptStrategy Courtesy of Darcy Pattison http://www.darcypattison.com PINK = plot points GREEN = crush BLUE = Ruby ORANGE = funny bits with Ian YELLOW = place for the tree game
    61. 61. REASON #5“Everybody says I’ma great writer. Greatwriters don’t need to revise.”
    62. 62. SOLUTION: Use published authors as rolemodels, through textexamples and Skype visits.
    63. 63. GUESS HOW MANY DRAFTS? 14!
    64. 64. REAL REVISION: Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk Kate Messner Dublin Literacy Conference 2013http://www.katemessner.com
    65. 65. WHAT REVISION ISFinding the Right Title
    66. 66. WHAT REVISION IS Finding the Right Title TEN TitlesHighlight great phrases Crowd-source Cut-it-Up & Mix-it-Up

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