There was one interesting thing (it wasn’t the only interesting thing, but it’s the one that I’m writing about today.) I did this weekend, I signed up for an online writing course.
After many many recommendations (from podcasts, editor blogs, agent blogs and a few personal postings) I decided to take the plunge and sign up for Holly Lisle’s ‘How to revise your novel’ course.
I’m currently elbow deep in revisions for my novel “Revenant” and I’d like to get that done so I can send it out this year (idealy, this summer). It’s been rough going because I have no idea what I’m doing!
I really don’t. None of the podcasts I listen to talk in depth about what to do once you have a first draft. I know what I should look for, I know the basic mistakes (I think) and I’m learning about line editting and what to look for.
What I don’t have is a decent process. It’s a huge task and I don’t know where to start. I’ve been reading my draft and taking notes and re-writing the thing (I’m up to 10000 words so far) but I am muddling along and I feel a bit aimless.
Aimless is a problem, when I feel aimless it’s VERY easy to drop what I’m doing. In fact, I did drop it while I was working on my short story submission last month. This, as they say, is not ideal.
So, I took a deep breath and signed up for the course. I have the first lesson in hand and…
Well, we’ll see. It’s pretty cool so far. I have a place to start and the first lesson has taught me some interesting things. I sat and thought about the first time I conceived the story, and that was a long time ago. I was pretty amazed at how different my draft is to what I thought it would be in the mid-nineties when I first thought up the idea.
For the record, I like what I have now much better, but it did lead me to realize that I’ve dropped some stuff that could have been good.
There’s work to be done.
I’ll keep you guys posted on my progress from week to week. In the meantime, I’m willing to answer any questions I can for the curious.
Very interested in hearing your experiences with this class, since I hope to be in that novel-revision stage someday and know I’ll have no clue where/how to begin! It was an online writing class that got me re-motivated to seriously work towards my writing goals, and I plan to do another on forensic science for writers later this summer since that’s something I really need for my genre.
Ok, great! So what I’ll do is every week when I get a course fragment, I’ll post in more detail about what it is.
I must say that so far I am impressed. There’s a LOT of content in that first week, and the online support (which I have not had a chance to use yet) seems to be pretty robust.
I’m curious about the workgroups that get “assigned” (if you request) and I’m eager to check that out.
So far, the course says that week 1 is the toughest, it certainly seems to be the most work. I have to re-read my draft and carefully look for certain things she outlines (good things to look for) and NOT line edit (which I’ve been doing). I can only assume that the next steps will be how to address what I find.
The worksheets and tools are pretty straight forward and good to use. I was tempted to say they are “simple” and they are, but they are worth it simply because I never would have thought of doing them that way.
So I’ll keep posting in detail as I get them and hopefully it will give you an idea on whether it’s worth your time and money. Don’t be afraid to ask me anything or chide me for skipping something.