So January was a big month in my writing life.
I haven't been blogging in a while, mostly because I've been working on a book called REVEL. In January I:

1. Had a deadline to hand in the revision of Revel
2. Had my first ever writer's retreat with a wonderful group of women in an an icy, windswept enclave by a lake
3. Attended the New York City conference of Society of Children's Book Writer's and Illustrators. Specifically, a superb presentation called Twenty-One Revision Techniques by Cheryl Klein, Executive Editor Arthur A. Levine Books/ Scholastic

Does it ever seem to you that you meet someone, see a painting, hear a song and that voice, that idea, image or tune is exactly what you needed for your life or your work to get better? It helps you or pushes you forward in some way that it's not possible for it to be mere coincidence.  There must a word for that- it's more than inspiration or serendipity it's....

yes I believe I just made a noun

So in a very lucky situation of Inspiradipity these three events all took place in January and I find that not only do I know what my story is about (that seems like it should be painfully obvious, me being the author, but sadly this is not always the case) but I know what to do to make it better, make it work!!!

Cheryl Klein had many,many fantastic suggestions/tools for the revision process. Probably a lot more than 21. And to paraphrase her:
"If you find yourself using all of these? You're actually procrastinating".
But here are three things that really Inspiradipped me  (It's a verb too!) during Ms. Klein's presentation. Things I needed to hear:

1. Get to the end of the story first.
I don't know how many times I need to learn this lesson. I spend way too much time on beginnings, fretting over the perfect opening, the first three chapters and revising before I get to the end of the draft!! You don't know what the story is until you get to the end. And even working from an outline, I found things changed as I went. So, get to the end. Know what the heart of your story is, that is the end. Then you know how to begin.

2. Look at or list the first ten things each significant character says or does. Objectively.
This includes actions, dialogue and internal narration, These first impressions are how the reader decides if your MC is likable for instance. Kind of important. Looking at those first actions, thoughts and words I discovered my MC sounded sort of Whiny. And nobody likes a whiner.

3. This third thing is simply fun. Make a Word Cloud of your novel to see what words you're using most frequently. This is the cloud for an early draft: right away I can see the word "Like" is way too prevalent. I seem to like, like like.  

[image error]

The only other thing I reflect on right now is that I need to put myself in the way of Inspiradipity-  by getting out in the world, connecting with other people, contacting old friends. Talking.
Um, maybe even blogging once in a while :-)
Hope you all get inspiradipped today! 
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Published on February 03, 2012 14:05 • 106 views
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message 1: by Susan (new)

Susan Schroeder Loved Warped..can't wait for your new book!

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