Sunday, October 30, 2016

October 2016 Revision Workshop

Our CWHV October event led by Emma Dryden, former Vice President and Publisher of Atheneum Books for Young Readers and Margaret K. McElderry Books was an afternoon packed full of revision tips and techniques.  

From using highlighters to track your character’s wants or backstory to changing the font or size of type, to tricking yourself into seeing something differently, to boiling down your synopsis from 10 pages to one sentence are just a few examples of Emma’s revision tips.

She discussed creating a character purpose list. Every character in your story needs a reason to be there. If too many characters only serve one function, combine some of them together.

Comb through your manuscript looking for repeated words or phrases — change or delete them, remove stage directions, look for several adjectives in a row and pick the best one or replace them with more efficient prose. Check the last line in every scene, does it make the reader want to keep reading?

These are only a handful of Emma's revision techniques (I can't possibly list everything!). I left with four pages of notes and a stack of handouts (40 pages!). Emma was enthusiastic, knowledgeable, personable and generous. 

Thank you, Emma, for making our fall event successful and enjoyable, too!

Visit Emma's blog, Our stories, Ourselves, and her website


  1. My pleasure! Thanks to CWHV for inviting me!

  2. We are so grateful that our October event meshed with your schedule, allowing you to come! Hope to see you soon!