Monday, August 07, 2006


Unfortunately, revisions are a fact of the fiction writer's life. You write a story, edit it to your satisfaction, and send it out into the world expecting everyone, someone, to love it as much as you do. But they don't a string of magazine editors reject the story, usually without comment. Or perhaps you subject the story to workshop at a writers' conference. You sit silently while a room of strangers critique your work, you collect a dozen or so copies of your story with their often illegible editorial suggestions, stray pen marks and [stupid] comments. You come home and try to make sense of it all and then sit down to revise.

I spent yesterday compiling in a single copy of the manuscript those comments from workshop that I thought had potential merit. Today I begin the process of revising the piece taking those comments into account. I won't necessarily use all the suggestions--it was clear many of the readers didn't get what I was doing, and that's an issue I also have to address--but they provide a good start.

I've revised two other stories in recent weeks and I hope to do the same for one more story immediately after Bread Loaf, giving me a decent "inventory" to start submitting when reading periods open this fall. It's not enough, though. I've got a few new stories in the works and I need to whip them into shape!

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