REAL REVISION:
Talking the Talk
and
Walking the Walk
Kate Messner
WWSU Staff
Development Day
October 2013

http://www.kate...
www.katemessner.com/WWSU
So…what are you
writing these
days?
Revision should
not be a surprise.
Assignment:
Write for three
minutes, describing a place
that you love.
WHAT REVISION ISN’T…
 Spell Checking

 Hiring a professional editor
 Solitary

 A process with a single

correct solut...
http://devilduck.tumblr.com/post/3834151230
WHAT REVISION IS

Brainstorming

Free-Writing
(and maybe
starting over)
Princess Marty
Frog-Slime
and the
Nutcracker Ballet
Confessions of a
Sea Monster
“Well…This is
funny. But it
sounds more like
a New Yorker
cartoon than a
book for kids.”
What if
things
turned out
differently?
Two
Books in
One?
Who’s
that guy
girl?
Considering
different
formats
Draft 1
Draft 2 Draft 3 Draft 4
Time
to
Write!
Sometimes poem…
Time
to
Write!
Sometimes poem…
WHAT REVISION IS

 Finding & Strengthening

the Heart of a project
This book is about
______________________________
______________________________
_____________________________.
(But under...
My book is about a figure
skater from a small-town
maple farm who earns a
scholarship to train with the
elite in Lake Plac...
My book is about a future
world where killer tornadoes
are widespread and four kids
at a science camp who are
trying to st...
This book is about
______________________________
______________________________
_____________________________.
(But under...
WHAT REVISION IS

65 Off-Draft Writing
Prompts to JumpStart Revision
Write a
metaphorpoem
describing
one of your
characters,
in another
character’s
voice.
Thanks, Kelly Fineman!
If your
poem/essay/person
al narrative/
research paper
could talk back to
you right now, what
would it say?
WHAT REVISION IS

Charts, maps, timelines, &
outlines
More Ideas…
• Map the setting – note important

events
• Chapter by chapter timelines
• Plot charts with rising/falling ac...
Big-Picture Story Chart What
characters, settings, obj
ects, jokes, themes, and
threads are important in
your project? Are...
WHAT REVISION IS

Considering all five senses.
Time to
Revise!
Sometimes poem…
Add SMELLS
WHAT REVISION IS

Returning to Research
WHAT REVISION IS

Details and Word Choice
Be specific.

Be surprising.
Look for delicious details
Look for delicious details
Google Maps – Street View
Role Play!
Replace Tired Body
Language
** Role Play!
Replace Tired Body Language
ANGRY
FRUSTRATED
ANXIOUS
SCARED
JOYFUL-EXCITED
DEPRESSED
WHAT REVISION IS

Being a Word Ninja
Readers are Smart

Don’t keep repeating
your points to make sure
they “get it.”
very
really
just
that
“what
looked
like”
JUST
AND
RATHER
BEGAN TO
AS
THOUGH
THEN
BUT
ALWAYS

IN THAT
MOMENT
SO
A BIT
I GUESS
MAYBE
THAT
VERY
REALLY
Watch for “pet”
stories, ideas, themes, p
hrases…
Brainstorm: What
words, phrases, &
pet stories are on
your personal
“MOST WANTED”
list?
Time to
Revise! ***
Sometimes poem…
Cut at least 20 words
WHAT REVISION IS

Being Social

-Critique Groups/Partners
Post-It Note Critiques

ORANGE = “I LOVE THIS!”
GREEN = “I’M BORED.”
YELLOW=“I’M CONFUSED”
WHAT REVISION IS

Technology Tools

of the Trade
Scrivener
http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php
WHAT REVISION IS

Finding the Right Title
WHAT REVISION IS
Finding the Right Title
TEN Titles
Highlight great phrases
Crowd-source
Cut-it-Up & Mix-it-Up
WHAT REVISION IS

Making Lists…

…and getting to work!
Five Reasons Kids
Don’t Want to Revise
(and what teachers
can do about it)
Kate Messner
http://www.katemessner.com
REASON #1

“But I just FINISHED.
And I like my paper
the way it is.”
SOLUTION:
Start the revision
conversation early.
After We Write…
 REVISION – PART I
 REVISION – PART 2
 REVISION – PART 3
REASON #2
“I already ran a spell
check. I’m good.”
SOLUTION:
Teach students the
difference between
revising and editing.
REASON #3
“I don’t know where
to start.”
SOLUTION:
Have a revision
checklist ready…
Student Critique Partners

• Trade papers with a partner
•Use highlighters to indicate the
following:
•Pink = Consider cut...
REASON #4
“I did revise. Just
now. It’s not my fault
I’m a fast reviser.”
SOLUTION:
Teach multiple
strategies for revision.
REASON #5

“Everybody says I’m
a great writer. Great
writers don’t need to
revise.”
SOLUTION:

Use published
authors as role
models, through text
examples and Skype
visits.
GUESS HOW MANY DRAFTS?

14!
REAL REVISION:
Talking the Talk
and
Walking the
Walk
Kate Messner
Penn State York
Institute 2013

http://www.katemessner.c...
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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.
  • 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 -
  • 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”
  • 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
  • Revision wwsu

    1. 1. REAL REVISION: Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk Kate Messner WWSU Staff Development Day October 2013 http://www.katemessner.com
    2. 2. www.katemessner.com/WWSU
    3. 3. So…what are you writing these days?
    4. 4. Revision should not be a surprise.
    5. 5. Assignment: Write for three minutes, describing a place that you love.
    6. 6. WHAT REVISION ISN’T…  Spell Checking  Hiring a professional editor  Solitary  A process with a single correct solution or end point
    7. 7. http://devilduck.tumblr.com/post/3834151230
    8. 8. WHAT REVISION IS Brainstorming Free-Writing (and maybe starting over)
    9. 9. Princess Marty Frog-Slime and the Nutcracker Ballet
    10. 10. Confessions of a Sea Monster
    11. 11. “Well…This is funny. But it sounds more like a New Yorker cartoon than a book for kids.”
    12. 12. What if things turned out differently?
    13. 13. Two Books in One?
    14. 14. Who’s that guy girl?
    15. 15. Considering different formats
    16. 16. Draft 1 Draft 2 Draft 3 Draft 4
    17. 17. Time to Write! Sometimes poem…
    18. 18. Time to Write! Sometimes poem…
    19. 19. WHAT REVISION IS  Finding & Strengthening the Heart of a project
    20. 20. This book is about ______________________________ ______________________________ _____________________________. (But underneath that, it’s really about ______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________.
    21. 21. My book is about a figure skater from a small-town maple farm who earns a scholarship to train with the elite in Lake Placid & discovers a world of mean girls on ice. But underneath that, it’s really about making a decision to follow your own dreams instead of the dreams that are chosen for you.
    22. 22. My book is about a future world where killer tornadoes are widespread and four kids at a science camp who are trying to stop them but discover a terrifying secret. But underneath that, it’s really about using your powers for good.
    23. 23. This book is about ______________________________ ______________________________ _____________________________. (But underneath that, it’s really about ______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________.
    24. 24. WHAT REVISION IS 65 Off-Draft Writing Prompts to JumpStart Revision
    25. 25. Write a metaphorpoem describing one of your characters, in another character’s voice. Thanks, Kelly Fineman!
    26. 26. If your poem/essay/person al narrative/ research paper could talk back to you right now, what would it say?
    27. 27. WHAT REVISION IS Charts, maps, timelines, & outlines
    28. 28. 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
    29. 29. Big-Picture Story Chart What characters, settings, obj ects, jokes, themes, and threads are important in your project? Are they woven consistently throughout the text?
    30. 30. WHAT REVISION IS Considering all five senses.
    31. 31. Time to Revise! Sometimes poem… Add SMELLS
    32. 32. WHAT REVISION IS Returning to Research
    33. 33. WHAT REVISION IS Details and Word Choice Be specific. Be surprising.
    34. 34. Look for delicious details
    35. 35. Look for delicious details
    36. 36. Google Maps – Street View
    37. 37. Role Play! Replace Tired Body Language
    38. 38. ** Role Play! Replace Tired Body Language ANGRY FRUSTRATED ANXIOUS SCARED JOYFUL-EXCITED DEPRESSED
    39. 39. WHAT REVISION IS Being a Word Ninja
    40. 40. Readers are Smart Don’t keep repeating your points to make sure they “get it.”
    41. 41. very really just that “what looked like”
    42. 42. JUST AND RATHER BEGAN TO AS THOUGH THEN BUT ALWAYS IN THAT MOMENT SO A BIT I GUESS MAYBE THAT VERY REALLY
    43. 43. Watch for “pet” stories, ideas, themes, p hrases…
    44. 44. Brainstorm: What words, phrases, & pet stories are on your personal “MOST WANTED” list?
    45. 45. Time to Revise! *** Sometimes poem… Cut at least 20 words
    46. 46. WHAT REVISION IS Being Social -Critique Groups/Partners
    47. 47. Post-It Note Critiques ORANGE = “I LOVE THIS!” GREEN = “I’M BORED.” YELLOW=“I’M CONFUSED”
    48. 48. WHAT REVISION IS Technology Tools of the Trade
    49. 49. Scrivener http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php
    50. 50. WHAT REVISION IS Finding the Right Title
    51. 51. WHAT REVISION IS Finding the Right Title TEN Titles Highlight great phrases Crowd-source Cut-it-Up & Mix-it-Up
    52. 52. WHAT REVISION IS Making Lists… …and getting to work!
    53. 53. Five Reasons Kids Don’t Want to Revise (and what teachers can do about it) Kate Messner http://www.katemessner.com
    54. 54. REASON #1 “But I just FINISHED. And I like my paper the way it is.”
    55. 55. SOLUTION: Start the revision conversation early.
    56. 56. After We Write…  REVISION – PART I  REVISION – PART 2  REVISION – PART 3
    57. 57. REASON #2 “I already ran a spell check. I’m good.”
    58. 58. SOLUTION: Teach students the difference between revising and editing.
    59. 59. REASON #3 “I don’t know where to start.”
    60. 60. SOLUTION: Have a revision checklist ready…
    61. 61. Student Critique Partners • Trade papers with a partner •Use highlighters to indicate the following: •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 (or on a Post-It note), write a note explaining your highlighting and
    62. 62. REASON #4 “I did revise. Just now. It’s not my fault I’m a fast reviser.”
    63. 63. SOLUTION: Teach multiple strategies for revision.
    64. 64. REASON #5 “Everybody says I’m a great writer. Great writers don’t need to revise.”
    65. 65. SOLUTION: Use published authors as role models, through text examples and Skype visits.
    66. 66. GUESS HOW MANY DRAFTS? 14!
    67. 67. REAL REVISION: Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk Kate Messner Penn State York Institute 2013 http://www.katemessner.com

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