Saturday, March 28

Day Twenty-Eight: Revise Any Misused Words and Awkward Phrasing

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Welcome to Day Twenty-Eight of Fiction University’s Month-Long Revision Workshop. Over the last month we’ve been working on the larger revision issues and ignoring the specifics of the text (in most cases). Our stories are now solid, our structure and various story arcs are sound, and our scenes flow smoothly from one idea to the next. The novel is “done,” and we feel comfortable that it’s good and well-written. Now it’s time to polish our literary jewels until they shine, so roll up those sleeves and let’s get into the nitty gritty of the individual word choices.

Yesterday we got rid of the chaff, and breathed new life into stale prose. Our next step is to sneak in and fix those common words that are easy to mix up, and the accidentally hysterical phrases we sometimes write.

Today’s let focus on misused words and awkward phrases.

Friday, March 27

Day Twenty-Seven: Strengthen or Eliminate Any Weak Words

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Welcome to Day Twenty-Seven of Fiction University’s Month-Long Revision Workshop. Over the last month we’ve been working on the larger revision issues and ignoring the specifics of the text (in most cases). Our stories are now solid, our structure and various story arcs are sound, and our scenes flow smoothly from one idea to the next. The novel is “done,” and we feel comfortable that it’s good and well-written. Now it’s time to polish our literary jewels until they shine, so roll up those sleeves and let’s get into the nitty gritty of the individual word choices.

Weak words make their way into our writing on a regular basis, especially in early drafts when we’re more focused on getting the story down than making the most of our words.

Today, we’re going on a word safari and getting rid of anything that weakens our prose.

Thursday, March 26

Day Twenty-Six: Clarify Ambiguous Pronouns

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Welcome to Day Twenty-Six of Fiction University’s Month-Long Revision Workshop. Over the last month we’ve been working on the larger revision issues and ignoring the specifics of the text (in most cases). Our stories are now solid, our structure and various story arcs are sound, and our scenes flow smoothly from one idea to the next. The novel is “done,” and we feel comfortable that it’s good and well-written. Now it’s time to polish our literary jewels until they shine, so roll up those sleeves and let’s get into the nitty gritty of the individual word choices.

Ambiguous pronouns creep into our work and they're not always easy to spot. We know what they refer to because we wrote them, but if the pronoun isn't near what the referenced noun was, or there are a lot of nouns in the sentence, it can be confusing to readers what that pronoun refers to.

Today’s task will take stamina to complete. Search through the pronouns and fix any pronouns that aren’t clear.

Wednesday, March 25

Day Twenty-Five: Eliminate Clichés and Trim Overwriting

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Welcome to Day Twenty-Five of Fiction University’s Month-Long Revision Workshop. Over the last month we’ve been working on the larger revision issues and ignoring the specifics of the text (in most cases). Our stories are now solid, our structure and various story arcs are sound, and our scenes flow smoothly from one idea to the next. The novel is “done,” and we feel comfortable that it’s good and well-written. Now it’s time to polish our literary jewels until they shine, so roll up those sleeves and let’s get into the nitty gritty of the individual word choices.

Polishing brings out the shine of a novel, illuminating what’s unique and special about the work. So it makes sense to look for passages that aren’t so fresh or might be trying too hard to get noticed.

Today, we’ll go after both cliches and purple prose.

Tuesday, March 24

Conflict: The Wheels of a Novel (It’s how I roll.)

By C.M. Fleming

Part of the How They Do It Series


Please help me welcome C.M. Fleming to the lecture hall today, to share some tips on one of my favorite things (in a novel that is) conflict.

Former UCR Crime Analyst with Georgia Bureau of Investigation, C. M. Fleming is an author, illustrator, and writing coach. Her first children’s novel, “Finder’s Magic,” garnered a nomination for Georgia Author of the Year in 2009. She conducts writing workshops at SCBWI conferences, teaches a six-week course for middle-grade students called, “Writing for Smarties,” and is available for school and library visits. An earlier version of her latest book, “Halley’s Hope” was a quarter-finalist in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest. Her latest young adult novel “Halley’s Hope” debuted in February, 2015.

As a very health-conscious senior adult she also writes about wiping out obesity, with a healthy dose of her own brand of humor and Christian wisdom.

Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Take it away Connie...

Day Twenty-Four: Revise Any Unnecessary Passive Voice

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Stage Five: Polishing the Draft

Welcome to Day Twenty-Four of Fiction University’s Month-Long Revision Workshop. Over the last twenty-three days we’ve been working on the larger revision issues and ignoring the specifics of the text (in most cases). Our stories are now solid, our structure and various story arcs are sound, and our scenes flow smoothly from one idea to the next. The novel is “done,” and we feel comfortable that it’s good and well-written. Now it’s time to polish our literary jewels until they shine, so roll up those sleeves and let’s get into the nitty gritty of the individual word choices.

Today, we’re going to get active and revise any unnecessary instances of passive voice.

Monday, March 23

Day Twenty-Three: Smooth Any Rough Transitions

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Welcome to Day Twenty-Three of Fiction University’s Month-Long Revision Workshop. Up until now, we’ve been adding and tweaking our stories, focusing more on getting the missing information in, and cutting the unnecessary information out. Odds are we’ve gotten some scenes a little messy, but the overall novel is working from a plot, character, and scene to scene standpoint. Now is the time to tighten things back up.

Now that our characters are talking and thinking clearly, it’s time to make sure our scenes and transitions are moving through the novel just as smoothly.

Today, we’ll look at our transitions and see if there are any rough or jarring areas between scenes and ideas.

Sunday, March 22

Day Twenty-Two: Sharpen the Hooks and Tighten the Pacing

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Welcome to Day Twenty-Two of Fiction University’s Month-Long Revision Workshop. Up until now, we’ve been adding and tweaking our stories, focusing more on getting the missing information in, and cutting the unnecessary information out. Odds are we’ve gotten some scenes a little messy, but the overall novel is working from a plot, character, and scene to scene standpoint. Now is the time to tighten things back up.

Now that our characters sound good inside and out, let’s pull back and focus on the little things that keep readers reading.

Today, we’ll take a look at our hooks and how the novel’s pacing works.

Saturday, March 21

Day Twenty-One: Streamline the Internalization

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Welcome to Day Twenty-One of Fiction University’s Month-Long Revision Workshop. Up until now, we’ve been adding and tweaking our stories, focusing more on getting the missing information in, and cutting the unnecessary information out. Odds are we’ve gotten some scenes a little messy, but the overall novel is working from a plot, character, and scene to scene standpoint. Now is the time to tighten things back up.

Yesterday we worked on streamlining our dialog, and our characters’ conversations should now be tight, entertaining, and informative. Next we’ll shift to our interior conversations.

Today, the focus is on internalization.

Friday, March 20

Day Twenty: Streamline the Dialog

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Welcome to Day Twenty of Fiction University’s Month-Long Revision Workshop. Up until now, we’ve been adding and tweaking our stories, focusing more on getting the missing information in, and cutting the unnecessary information out. Odds are we’ve gotten some scenes a little messy, but the overall novel is working from a plot, character, and scene to scene standpoint. Now is the time to tighten things back up.

Dialog makes up a sizable chunk of a novel, but it’s also a common area to find weak prose. We let our characters ramble on, give them unrealistic things to say, and even steal their unique voices from them.

Today, let’s take a closer look at our dialog and make sure our story people sound as good as they look.