Struggling with revision?
Well, it’s time to dig in to the second half of this awesome revision series hosted by YA Author Heather Demetrios.
If you missed the first four interviews, CLICK HERE to learn more about them.
Get your revision on!
REVISING WITH PRIDE: A DEBUT AUTHOR ON REVISION FEELS
“The only way to write the story you’re trying to tell is to revise it. The first draft won’t say it well enough, and neither will the second.” – Miriam McNamara
“You have to be patient, and you have to go easy on yourself. Set manageable goals. Celebrate each accomplishment along the way. Every time you show up for your work, you are getting closer.” – Miriam McNamara
Miriam McNamara earned a Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she won the Norma Fox Mazer award for a historical young adult manuscript work-in-progress. The Unbinding of Mary Reade is her first novel. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but she also calls Asheville, North Carolina home.
THE DEDICATED IMPEERFECTIONIST
“I’m a dedicated “imperfectionist” until the heavy lifting is done. I’m still detail oriented all the way through—the setting and timeline have to work, of course, and the characters need to behave more or less consistently—but because I see my first draft as a delightful mess I get to play with until I’m satisfied, I’m not wasting any energy torturing myself with “this is garbage” kind of self recriminations.” – Camille DeAngelis
“Resign yourself to the fact that it is nevergoing to be as good as you can get it … I’m trying to make a living at this, so I can’t spend years on a single project.” – Camille DeAngelis
Camille DeAngelis is the author of several novels for adults—each of them as full of impossible things as The Boy From Tomorrow—as well as a travel guide to Ireland and a book of nonfiction called Life Without Envy: Ego Management for Creative People. Her young adult novel Bones & Allwon an Alex Award from the American Library Association in 2016. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
REVISION: WHERE THE STORY IS
“I would love to be one of those people who can just write a first draft without thinking about things, but even if I’m working from an outline, I always get to a part (usually the muddy middle) where I need to go back and see where I’m going.” – Mel Fishbane
“Breathe. Take a walk. Meditate. Create a safe space for yourself. This is what we work on in the writing workshops I teach. Creating a safe space to go deep.” – Mel Fishbane
Melanie Fishbane holds an M.F.A. from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and an M.A. from Concordia University and teaches English at Humber College. Her essay is included in L.M. Montgomery’s Rainbow Valleys: The Ontario Years 1911-1942. Her YA novel, Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery was published in 2017. Melanie lives in Toronto with her partner and their very entertaining cat, Merlin. You can follow Melanie on Twitter @MelanieFishbane on Instagram, melanie_fishbane and like her on Facebook.
REVISING WITH EDITOR AND AUTHOR MAGGIE LEHRMAN
“I’m a pantser, and so usually in my first drafts I’m chasing a very vague dream of what the book sort of looks like. I find I have to get that hazy version completely on the page before I can start chiseling away at it in order to find its real shape.” – Maggie Lehrman
“Not that there’s anything wrong with agonizing over every word–I do that, too. But sometimes you have to send something in so that you can make it better next time. And you have to constantly improve. Try new things. Try scary/weird/wild things. Unslick the surfaces of your story.” – Maggie Lehrman
Maggie Lehrman’s newest book, The Last Best Story, will be available August 7, 2018 from Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins. She’s also the author of The Cost of All Things, which has been translated into eight languages. By day she is an executive editor at Abrams Books, where she works primarily on young adult, middle grade, and graphic novels. She has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and she graduated from Harvard College with a BA in English. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Kyle and their two year old son.
You’re freaked out about revision in general, or you don’t know how to do it – possibly, you’re both freaked out and not sure how to do it AT THE SAME TIME. Is there anything more to this process beyond nail biting and hand wringing? How do you even know where to begin? And what can you possibly do to chill out and enjoy revising your work?
Have no fear: your retreat leaders, YA authors Heather Demetrios and Ingrid Sundberg, are the kind of sickos that actually enjoy revising and are thrilled to bring you over to the revision-loving dark side.