In this workshop, we’ll explore the rewriting process—the re-visioning of the kernel that is the first draft of your work. We’ll look at how to revise fiction or memoir with an eye to voice, plot, setting, dialogue, and character. Using exercises and prompts, we’ll work hands-on to deepen and develop your rewriting process.
The rewriting is the writing. Many authors, such as Jennifer Egan and Louise Erdrich, say that the bulk of their writing takes place after the first draft is written. We’ll read excerpts from various authors’ accounts of their rewriting process, and from their wildly divergent approaches we’ll get a sense of how every writer revises in their own unique voice.
Instructor Susie Hara says, “When I turn my hand to revision, I generally start with big-picture stuff: the chopping up and putting back together of scenes and chapters—the paradox of paring down and fleshing out. At the subterranean level, I examine how the characters’ bumps and flaws align or wreak havoc with their actions, relationships, and the heart of the story. Then, in the later stages of revision, I focus on the fine-tuning of language, such as getting rid of repeated words or cliches, varying the rhythm and structure of sentences, and adding sensory details.
“Come join me—we’ll explore these techniques for you to build (and add to) your own revision process. Each week we’ll focus on a different aspect of craft and use exercises to stock your rewriting toolbox, leading you on the path to your completed, polished manuscript.”
Susie Hara’s novel, Finder of Lost Objects (Ithuriel’s Spear Press), was a finalist for a 2015 Lambda Literary Award and received a 2015 International Latino Book Award. Her stories have been published in several anthologies, including Fast Girls and Stirring up a Storm. She has a degree in Dance and English from UC Riverside, and an MA in Theater from New York University. She was a resident theater artist at Z Space Studio and performed with the companies Teatro de la Esperanza and Word for Word. Her play Lost and Found in the Mission won a Best of Fringe award in the 2008 San Francisco Fringe Festival. www.susiehara.net