Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Revision With RJ Anderson

Earlier this month, I had the enormous pleasure of attending SCBWI Canada East's fall conference in Ottawa, where I met literary agent Susan Hawk (who was super helpful in her talk about queries and what makes them work), Scholastic Canada editor Sandra Bogart Johnston (whom I had met previously at the TD Awards, but I didn't have my glasses on that night because I'm a dork (yes, it's true), so I only sort-of recognized her, but she was VERY gracious about it!), illustrator Ben Hodson (who I think is the most versatile illustrator I have ever met), and a whole whack of other people.

And I had my arm in a sling the whole time!* So I couldn't even come on here to blog about it until just now! But believe me, you wish you were there.

On Saturday, RJ Anderson, author of SPELL HUNTER and two more books in that series and of ULTRAVIOLET, out just now, as well as another upcoming series, talked about revision. More specifically, she talked about the difference between true revision and tweaking, which is what most of us do when we think we're revising.

I can't go into the details of what RJ said - for that, you just need to go hear her talk about it. But the one thing she said that resonated with me the most was that revision is exactly that: it's a re-VISION. I's seeing your MS in a new way.

So, onward, faithful blog-readers. Listen to that voice in your head that is telling you that something isn't quite there. Have the courage to truly revise your work. And if you ever get a chance to hear RJ Anderson talk in person, do it.

*See the asterisk at the bottom of Monday's post.


  1. Sounds like such a great conference. Yes, I admit it. I tweak rather than revise sometimes. And often it's because I won't let go. Thanks for reminding me not to.

  2. Thanks for the good advice. I also find it helpful to read my manuscripts out loud. Better still if you can get someone to read them back to you. It's remarkable what you hear when your words are coming out of someone else's mouth.