One of the only ways to get better as a writer is to learn to revise our stories. This month, at StoryADay we’re focusing on revision. Keep reading for a free lesson on how to achieve the right revision mindset, and for news about this year’s StoryFest!
Take a story you have written before and rework it, today
- Listen to this audio lesson (or read the transcript) that helps you shed any negativity you might feel about revision.
- Do not correct your grammar and typos first! Instead, look at the structure of the story. Does it make sense? Is anything missing? Is there any conflict in your story?
- Then look at your main character. Are they consistent? Do they develop over the story?
- Read through this guest post from DIYMFA.com’s Gabriela Pereira, about how to approach this layered method of revision. Pick one layer to work on first. Don’t get overwhelmed.
- If this very structural method of revision doesn’t work for you, still bear in mind the general principle that the big story questions come first, spelling corrections come last!
- Now is the time to think about your audience. Who will want to read your story? (Hint: don’t say ‘everybody’.) If you’re writing romance, you’re probably writing for women ages 25-39. Are your settings, situations, characters and language appropriate to that audience? If you’re writing an adventure story for 13 year old boys, is your protagonist slightly older than them and does he have strongly defined personality traits and friends with complimentary traits? Is the situation he faces exciting and just slightly outside his capabilities (but not too much? If you’re writing for flash fiction fans, is your story a little Rubik’s cube of a thing, but much, much prettier?
- What length should a story like this be? Check out Duotrope.com for listings of publications seeking stories (they list story lengths and sub-genres). It’s all very well to write something unique, but it’s much harder to get published if nobody can fit you into a sub-genre. And since we’re talking about revision, this month, I’m encouraging you to think about audience and market more than I do when we’re just working on creativity!
STORYFEST IS COMING, June 23-24, 2018
If you took part in StoryADay May this year, our annual story showcase is scheduled for the weekend of June 23-24. (See previous versions of StoryFest here)
To take part, make sure you’re on the mailing list (sign up below) and watch your inbox for information about how to submit your favorite story and recommend one by another StoryADay writer. (No, there’s no ‘judging’ or selection process, you simply nominate one of the stories you wrote during StoryADay May this year.)