is the author of the novels Mouth to Mouth (Simon & Schuster), Panorama City (Mariner), and The Interloper (Other Press). He is a contributing editor of A Public Space.
Thursday, June 30, 2022
This class has already happened.
The Art of Revision
“I love the flowers of afterthought.”
Great writing, when we read it, strikes us as inevitable, free from contingency.
This is, of course, an illusion.
What we are reading has likely been worked over, crossed out, rewritten, rearranged, sliced and diced and put back together again. Extra words have been omitted, throat-clearing paragraphs cut, vague references transformed into specific details. Perhaps characters have been merged, or been divided into two. Or point-of-view changed from first to third. A subplot or digression, thousands of words, out. Countless alternative what-if early versions, unacknowledged.
Notice how easy it is to proceed from what we recognize as revision—the line edit—to something that sounds more like summoning a first draft into existence. Any attempt to draw a solid line between writing and revision yields only semi-permeable membranes.
Or, as Hemingway put it: “The only writing is rewriting.”
This course will look at what this means to us, practically speaking, as writers. I’ll discuss various approaches to revision, from the philosophical to the technical, share some wisdom from established writers, and offer support and encouragement to the revision-phobic—all with an eye to helping you find a revision process that works for you.
Thursday, June 30
6:30–8:30 p.m. ET
Online on Zoom
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