Posts Tagged ‘Revision’


How I Revised Transfer Loss

   Posted by: Garrett    in CoWW, Path, Transfer Loss

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Revision

Well, I got the story revised (a couple months ago :mrgreen: ), and I thought it would be useful to talk about how I did it.

But first, I think you need a little background on how I wrote it in the first place.

I wrote the story as part of Orson Scott Card’s bootcamp. This means that I had to come up with an idea, stew on it a bit, and write the story all pretty much within one day.

For ideas, Card had us go to a bookstore and look for something we would never write about and then get an idea, interview a person, and watch people doing something.

I got the idea for this story by watching some kids play on a fake tree-thing where they would crawl through from one side to the other. And, ZING, I thought wouldn’t it be cool if we could use trees to teleport from one location to the next?

Then, we had to figure out a beginning and ending for the story using Card’s MICE quotient (milieu, idea, character, event – read Characters and Viewpoint for more information). I decided this was more of an Event story, with some Character stuff as well. Therefore, that meant that I had to start the story where something was wrong and then end it where it got fixed (or accepted). I did just that, but then I thought I needed to add a bunch of stuff in about the guy’s relationship with his wife, and it got really weird (I had been reading Heinlein, that is my excuse).

Then, I spent most of the day I had goofing around, thinking about what I wanted to have happen in the story. I also spent way too much time creating a map with a cool Mapping program (AutoRealm) that I had recently installed. I guess that was my way of doing a bit of background research. When I actually got down to writing, I wrote the entire 38 pages (double-spaced) in about 4 hours.

Then, we workshopped the stories and I got lots of great feedback on it from all the other students and from Card.

So, when I went to revise, I reread all the comments from people (I had consolidated them all onto one copy of the draft), especially Card’s, and thought again about what I wanted to accomplish here.

Then, I basically started from scratch (I had the original draft in the new document, but I only used about 2 pages of it). I stripped off the first 4 pages and started where the event began to be known and worried about. I added in more characters and conflicts (3 disaster structure). And, I made the mechanism of transfer more consistent and rule-based.

Based on the comments I got back on this from Ellen Datlow and the other Codexians, I still have a lot of work to do, but I didn’t get the same kinds of comments I did the first time, so I feel like I’m making good progress on both the story and my skill as a writer.

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