If you’ve caught the pictures I’ve shared on Twitter or even the headers to my last two posts, you’ll get that we are in full-on summer status, here. Pool, beach, morning mimosas… Sweet!
Yeah, not so easy: for me, summer is all about long days of writing and revision, so those same pictures are attached to posts about the tough job of finishing this novel. I may be lounging, but the laptop and print novel draft are open in my lap. If you’re in that same status, I’ve been using the hashtag #SumNovRev to connect with others working on finalizing a novel over the next couple months — sharing goals, milestones and resources to keep us going.
Which brings us to today’s Friday Links for Writers, which shares some of the best recent-reads on mastering novel revision, from sentence-level to the first chapter to knowing when you’re done. As always, feel free to share in the comments about what resounds with you, what you’d like to read more of, or share your own best links of the week.
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Sometimes I feel like all the writing advice out there focuses on the first chapter — but of course this makes sense, since so much is riding on whether or not those first pages hook a reader, agent or editor. Which is exactly the point made in this short post by novel editor Ellen Brock.
On Saturday, in my review of Anthony Marra’s A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, I admired Anthony’s control in navigating pov shifts. Here, this post from Roz Morris is a great examination of the how’s and why’s of what makes head-hopping risky.
Shared on the Believer website, this is a transcript of a lecture by Gary Lutz to writing students at Columbia University. I first discovered this piece a year or so ago, as a link at the end of author Matt Bell’s “The Books We Teach” (behind the subscriber wall at Ploughshares).
This article by Kathy Crowley at Beyond the Margins is a great list of questions to consider when you reach the end of a draft stage. As Kathy puts it, review this list without too much intensity, just making notes, before setting the work aside to hibernate. It includes great challenges regarding everything from character to setting to plot. A useful tool.
For those with a book done, in the querying process or even waiting for an impending release, this post at Kelsye Nelson’s site is the most comprehensive check list I’ve seen for launching a book — and was one of the most retweeted links I shared on Twitter this week.
I like to end Friday Links with inspirational interviews or lectures, and I really liked this one: from Aspen Institute’s Winter Words 2014, Authors Karen Jay Fowler and Carole DeSanti discuss the creative process.
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How About You?
Feel free to share your favorite links (even your own) in the comments below.
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- Finishing the Novel Draft: the Daily Task of Getting it Done
- Novel Revision Strategies: A Day’s Work in Pictures
- Reading: Review of Anthony Marra’s A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
- Novel Revision Strategies: Retyping the Novel Draft
- Writing Life: Celebrating My “Irish” by Writing