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Revisions & Editing Workshop

If you missed my workshop with OCLS at the Downtown location, here is a chance to grab a copy of the PDF and/or PowerPoint Show. It was a heavy 2-hour course and we covered a lot of content and questions to help guide your revision efforts. Be sure to “enable outside links” since this does contain 3 YouTube videos. Just in case, I will add those down below and explain what they reflect. Thank you to all who came out to attend and I hope the advise has helped you in your efforts to polish your writing and story to its very best.

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The Videos

Inside this PowerPoint I shared with the room three videos for vital reasons. In case they fail to show up or you were curious as to why I chose these, here are the reflections and links of said videos.

Squint’s Big Plan from the movie Sandlot

  1. Don’t tell us, SHOW us. Despite having access to a Narrator, they chose not to TELL us Squint can’t swim.

  2. Used Environment, Character, and Secondary Characters to signal audience something is not right.

  3. Used dialogue exchange in lieu of telling us directly.

MaLynne’s Outburst from the movie Steel Magnolias

  1. Make sure ALL your characters are reacting to an event in some way.

  2. Reflect how that will change the character(s) later on.

  3. Here MaLynne voices both her own and the audience’s feelings through her reaction and dialogue.

  4. Weeza, a nasty negative character throughout the story becomes essential to why the writer has kept her in the foreground. Every character in your story should have a role or purpose!

  5. Claire, the comic relief in many areas of the story provides a last ditch effort for both the main character and audience/reader using Weeza as a new focus point.

  6. They are showing the reactions and not telling us the characters are “sad” or “in mourning” and putting us in the unfolding of the emotions.

  7. Note as the moment becomes more intense, the sentences become much shorter.

Narrative Mechanics by ExtraCredits

  1. Slow down and refocus.

  2. Trim out anything that bogs down the message or the main focus of your story.

  3. Some times simplifying the story can make it stronger.

  4. A great example of bringing the concept to a smaller, more intimate level via the game Missile Command.

  5. You should know what emotions and situations you want both your character and reader to feel via the events and plot of your story. If not, sit down and simplify/refocus your aim and use that as a guide for revisions.

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