I've been taking a course on REVISING. It's been a revelation. It's taught by Chloe Caldwell. Four Tuesdays, the last session is tomorrow night. It's been really helpful. I'm thrilled to be heading into revisions on my own book. Thanks to a very kind, generous and capable copy/line editor, MARIANNE!! my stories are in the best shape they've ever been. I'll have the final fixes on the final four stories later this week and then I'll implement them. THEN, I begin the overall revision.
For those of you who know my stories, you know I write short pieces. The book, It Will Work Out, is a collection of stories that are in roughly chronological order (with major digressions within the pieces themselves.) The challenge is how to have them work as standalone pieces (which they already do) and still have the book succeed as a book a memoir. The subtitle of the book is A Life in Stories. So, there's the big challenge.
I'm going away in the winter with my pal and writing partner, Sari Botton, and we're going to work on our books together. I'm excited--up until now I've been rather intimidated to move from the short, discreet story format to the overall book format. However, the combo of working out the fixes/edits from Marianne and taking this revision course with Chloe AND, the time that it's taken, which has allowed me to STEP BACK and begin to see what I have. Well, I now feel ready. To contain the larger work. To hold the entire thing like I do a short piece and to refine the whole, thread the pieces, braid the themes.
I'm getting ready to finish this incredible project which has been years in the making. Some of the stories are 8/9 years old, some are from this year..
“Whatever it takes to finish things, finish. You will learn more from a glorious failure than you ever will from something you never finished.” -- Neil Gaiman
What are you working on? What are you eager to finish? What's keeping you from finishing? Let's finish together, shall we?