The Power of Coffee!

Upcoming Meeting Dates

Part instruction, brainstorming, motivation, & critique, our supportive group meets the second and fourth Saturday of the month and is user-friendly, inspirational, and empowering. Every woman deserves a room of her own.

"As soon as coffee is in your stomach, there is a general commotion. Ideas begin to move...similes arise, the paper is covered. Coffee is your ally and writing ceases to be a struggle."~Honore de Balzac

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Working With the SFD

Well, we know about the SFD since we've talked about it often enough after reading (and meeting) Anne Lamott. Rhonda even gave us all a stamp with SFD emblazoned and scented ink pads so we can imprint that first draft with SFD and the reminder of what it truly is. Before we flaunt that SFD all over the place and show our work to people, it's best to do some revision first. Where to begin?

Start with the big stuff.

Is the protagonist fully developed? Will readers really KNOW this character? Is the character's motivation clear? Is there a character arc? Does the character change in some way due to the events in the story?

Is there conflict? Without conflict, there is no story. Conflict, conflict, conflict! What is the main question being asked? Anything not pertaining to that question should be cut.

How's the dialogue? Does it sound natural? Is there a balance between exposition and dialogue? Do characters have their own voices and manner of speaking? Is there wasted dialogue that doesn't reveal character or move the story forward in some way? If so, cut. Is there clever subtext in some of the dialogue?

Is the point of view consistent? Change sections where there's head hopping or you switch point of view inappropriately.

What about the setting? Does it reflect the tone of the story? Does it match the story line? Is there something symbolic in the setting? Does it fit the story's theme or is it a metaphor for what's in the main character's heart and soul? ? Is setting established right up front? Do you use imagery and specific detail?

Is there a plot arc? Is there a clear, beginning, middle, and end? Does action move the story forward? Does the story build to a climax and satisfying resolution?

Next comes the small stuff.

We may not sweat the small stuff in life, but we must do so in revision. Every noun and verb is important. Every adverb is probably one too many. Every adjective must be carefully placed. Never use three when one will do. Proofread carefully. Check grammar and spelling and run-on sentences. Leave out the "to be" verbs like "was" and eliminate the past perfect problems like "once she had discovered she had had him for lunch, she had to uninvite him and the last time it had caused her problems that had gotten her into trouble and..." well, you get the idea.

No comments: