This workshop assumes that you have been developing your novel for a while. You may have a draft or an outline completed. Either way, you should have a few chapters that you are ready to revise, and an overview of the story. The goal of the week is to develop an understanding of particular revision strategies, and to practice, with feedback. We won’t be reworking plot, though you will inevitably get fresh perspective on it. Rather, you will focus closely on portions of your manuscript, with an eye to enriching the story, the character, and the prose. In other words, this workshop is about the writing.
There are many things to think about in revision, and we will begin with a discussion of theme and structure, but the emphasis of the week will be on deepening your story through interiority (the inner voice of the protagonist), commentary (the voice of the narration), and threads of images (the sensory moments that strike the reader and resound throughout the story). We will look at models and do exercises. Using the free morning hours, you will revise at least one core scene to create more engagement of the reader with the character. This approach is challenging and exciting; it should put your novel into a whole new realm of meaning. We will review exercises every day, and we will also discuss one of your revised scenes in a workshop format. You will go away with a process for evaluating and revising your larger manuscript.
Sandra Scofield is the author of seven novels, including Beyond Deserving, a National Book Award finalist. She has written a memoir, a craft book for writers—The Scene Book—and a book of essays about family, Mysteries of Love and Grief, Reflections on a Plainswoman’s Life. Her book Swim: Stories of the Sixties is forthcoming in May, and her craft book The Last Draft: Revision Strategies for the Novelist is forthcoming in September. She has extensively reviewed novels for major newspapers and has edited and coached many novelists. She is on the faculty of Pine Manor College Solstice low-residency M.F.A. Program and has been a member of the Iowa Summer Writing Festival faculty for many years. She is also an avid landscape painter. She lives in Missoula, Montana and Portland, Oregon.