A Way to the Right Way - 11th Hour Lecture Series


If you want your fiction to be read, you must make it as unputdownable as possible. As Shirley Jackson writes in Garlic in Fiction, “The reader is, after all, a kind of silent partner in the whole business of writing, and a work of fiction is surely incomplete if it is never read. The reader is in fact the writer’s only unrelenting, genuine enemy. He has everything on his side; all he needs to do is close his eyes and any work of fiction becomes meaningless.” So how can you keep a reader reading? While the first draft is for you, revision is all about the reader. You must revise ruthlessly until you’ve made your story as surprising, seamless, and vivid as it can be.

Revision is my favorite part of the writing process, but it can also seem daunting. Rather than telling myself that I have to “make it better,” I approach revision in stages that allow me to uncover new meanings, gain a deeper understanding of my characters and, finally, say exactly what I want to say. In this talk, I’ll share some revision tips and some of my own revision practices. My aim is to encourage you to write what you really want to write in the most effective way possible. 

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100 Phillips Hall
Iowa Ave and Clinton St
Iowa City, IA
United States

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