Last week, I shared my notes from Karen Cushman’s break out sessions. Here is some excellent information from Jordan’s session as well as a little about him.
Jordan Brown joined Walden Pond Press at HarperCollins Children’s Books in October 2008, having spent his first five years in publishing with Atheneum Books/Simon & Schuster. One of his first acquisitions, M. Sindy Felin’s Touching Snow, was a National Book Award finalist, an Edgar Award nominee, and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.
In the notes I took in his sessions, he discusses two types of revision and pacing.
Now What? Revision
Large Scale Revision Tips
- What is the age of the MC? Make sure to match the age to the group you write for.
- Ask yourself, can kids relate to your character?
- What’s the number one thing that drives your MC?
- Not all scenes build on narrative thread… so pay attention to sub scenes or stories.
- If you delete sub stories, what is your main thread? Is it clear?
- Play with the order of your scenes and where your story begins and don’t toss anything away.
Small Scale Revision Tips
- Overwrite if you have to, so then you can edit what the character actually sees and wants to say.
- Look for the moments that tell you about MC by showing them in a situation and how they react.
- Write an important and unique story and try not to do something that is over done.
- Delete a character that is not serving the story’s arc. How does that improve the story?
- What’s this the most important story/moment in the character’s life?
- If it gets to resolution to quickly, it didn’t go the extra step, that’s a let down, so go back and add levels.
- Give something that you don’t expect should happen.
- Telling old stories in new ways is great like a classic story with a new twist.
- Think outside the box in the format of your story telling.
- Great characters have to be in your story, not just great main characters.
- A great plot does not equal a great book. Look at elements like theme, etc.
Jane Yolen refers to revision as a “new vision”. You see your words in a new way and that gives you another layer for your story. I like that. Here’s wishing you a happy new vision on all your story ideas.