WisRWA Calendar

Jun 20
2019
VIRTUAL MEETING: Cops & Robbers - How to Write Accurate Law Enforcement in Fiction
RSVP Required! Please visit the calendar tab for more information and to RSVP.

Retired Lieutenant Matthew Dietzler served as a police officer in both the New Berlin and Grand Chute, Wisconsin departments. With 20 years in law enforcement, he can spot both accurate and unrealistic portrayals of policing in fiction.

After the presentation by Retired Lieutenant Deitzler, there will be time for individual questions.

Meeting Times

Jun05
2019
Green Bay
11:30-3 at 1951 Restaurant, 1951 Bond Street, Green Bay, WI

Promotion

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Jun08
2019
Chippewa Falls
10-12:30 at Deb's Cafe, 1120 122nd St, Chippewa Falls, WI

Tools for Series Writing

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Jun15
2019
Milwaukee
10 – 12:30 at Red Oak Writing Studio 11709 W Cleveland Ave. West Allis

Diversity, Equality, Inclusivity

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Jul10
2019
Green Bay
11:30-3 at 1951 Restaurant, 1951 Bond Street, Green Bay, WI

The Publishing Process

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Jul13
2019
Chippewa Falls
10-12:30 at Deb's Cafe, 1120 122nd St, Chippewa Falls, WI

Topic TBD

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WisRWA Newsletter



Revisions: Tips to Polish Your WIP

RevisionsIt’s hard, yet it’s the difference between a sale and “not for us.”

James Michener once said, “I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.”

I think that’s where most of us are, which might be why many writing gurus like Anne Lamott encourage bad first drafts, but we won’t talk about those today. Instead, I’ll focus on revision. I’d like to share my top three tips.

First, put some time between your drafts. At least a few days. A week or a month or two might be better. Most of us fall in love with our stories and we need that infatuation to ebb, so we can read our work without the rosy-everything’s awesome glasses. A little time gives us the emotional distance to view work anew and figure out what’s missing and what might need to change.

Second, have someone else read your work before you upload or send it off to be discovered. Critique partners or first readers can catch story inconsistencies and areas that aren’t understandable in your work. They can tell you which characters they connect to or which one they really don’t understand. Also, they can spot spelling or grammar errors.

At a writer’s conference I attended a copy editor admitted that even she makes mistakes occasionally and when she does, she doesn’t let it bother her because she figures it takes an average of sixteen pairs of eyes to get a manuscript to published flawlessness. Your critique buddies can be one of those first sets of editing eyes. Also, one of the best things about having critique partner or group is that you can become great friends.

My third tip is to try for good or very good instead of perfect. Because being human, and not possessing sixteen sets of eyes yourself, a totally perfect scene or manuscript is unattainable. Too much revision may add hours to your tasks and if you’re like me—it’s a buzz kill. It ruins the fun. So, my advice—do the best you can, look your work over a few times and then stop. Good is good enough.

When I’m not writing, I’m teaching, and I fit the one of the instructor stereotypes. I ask my students to re-think their drafts and to revise more than once. Revision and re-evaluating life decisions are themes that frequently appear in my fiction.

Mia Jo Celesteby: Mia Jo Celeste

Mia Jo Celeste comes from a family of writers and English teachers, so it was no surprise that she decided to pursue both careers. She’s an adjunct instructor, who just published her first release, Other Than, your grandma’s Gothic romance gone uber.


3 Responses to “Revisions: Tips to Polish Your WIP”

  1. Kate MacEachern says:

    I like them all and love the third tip, especially. Not stressing over perfect, which never arrives…

  2. Tawnya Perry says:

    Mia,
    Thank you for your tips. I’m going to follow your advice. I just finished writing my first novel and completing two minor drafts. I know that I need to temporarily part ways with my beloved characters. I’ll revisit them again at a later time, when I can be more objective. I will be happy with very good. We are all a revision of our previous selves.

  3. Betsy Norman says:

    Great advice, Brenda! Thank you!

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