Saturday, September 26, 2009

Art of Revision Workshop by Carol Dawson

I just attended the first of three workshops with Carol Dawson entitled "The Art of Revision: Self-Edit Your Way to a Better Manuscript". Editing advice and even professional editing help is something that I have been needing, no, something I have been craving for almost a year now. It is very difficult to find those willing to sacrifice the time to help you with your book. Friends and family members generally have their own lives to live. On top of that, they may not care to read the genre you are writing your work in so will get easily bored or offer you feedback that is not helpful. Other authors are as difficult if not more so to receive useful feedback from. Too many times they are very busy (understandably so) with their own work and are seeking the same type of feedback.

It was important for me to say all that in order for you to understand me when I say that finding a class like Ms. Dawson's is a gem. She is educated, witty, well traveled, well read, and knows her stuff. Today we were introduced to a really essential hard-core editing mindset and it helped me a great deal. I took a lot more notes than I ever expected to and am very glad I took a copy of one of my my manuscripts along. There are two more classes (3 hours each) and I am looking forward to both of them. Resources like this cannot be underestimated. If you can find the opportunity to attend Ms. Dawson's classes, do so. If you can't, then create the opportunity. Your writing will be the better for it!


  1. Great advice Ernie! What is one thing you learned about revisions that was an eye-opener to you?

  2. She teaches you to be "knife minded" or how to be completely ruthless with your own work. It's about trimming the fat from the book. I learned a great deal about trimming unneccessary words and even paragraphs as well as how to make sentences shorter and more readable. One other thing she did for me is to confirm some techniques I figured out on my own, like reading your story out loud to get a different perspective when self editing. I've been reading to my unborn twins now for a while and have pencil in hand to edit while I read. It's been very useful.