Thursday, May 13, 2010

Erin Murphy Agency Retreat, Pt 3

Day 3, Saturday

Our morning group session began with a focus on revision tips. Here are some of the highlights:

* Take risks in revision.

* Hang on to the vision for the whole story, even if it means sacrificing individual elements.

* Trust is a big part of the revision process. If you trust the person giving suggestions, trust their opinion.

* The author has final say in a revision. Consider the suggestion but don’t feel the it’s mandatory.

* Remember that kids are very savvy readers. They will notice flaws.

* If you won’t fix the flawed parts, the whole won’t be good.

* If you want to become a better writer, ask for heavy edits.

* Even as a professional writer, it’s a good idea to occasionally take classes

* “Avoid the stranglehold of ego.” (Don’t remember who said it, but it was brilliant)

For lunch, the ladies who are clients of Joan’s went to lunch. That was excellent and we continued the conversation about revision with one client who has an editorial letter the size of the Sears Tower. It was interesting to hear the challenges she faces and her strategies for managing them.

Since it was my last full day, I used the balance of the afternoon to gather a few souvenirs for the kids, and some Garrett’s caramel Popcorn for a friend. A local in line beside me said I was lucky that it was only a 45-minute wait in line. She said she’s waited much longer, and it’s still worth it. The question crosses my mind as I walk back to the hotel that there’s no way to fit two large bags of popcorn in my already full carry on suitcase.

Everyone went for a nice dinner at the hotel that evening. I got the salmon, which was terrific. I sat at a table and peppered the more experienced authors with questions about school visits, book promotion, and other tips. It was one of the most helpful times of the weekend, getting to ask people who really know what they are talking about for advice I specifically needed.

I went to bed exhausted, but completely energized to return home as a refreshed, restocked author. I have promotion to plan for Elliot and the Goblin War, revisions for Book 3 of Elliot, and writing for Book 2 of Orphan Prince.

The retreat next year will be in Austin. I can already hardly wait!


Mary Lindsey said...

It was so fun to read about the retreat. Wish we were doing them quarterly.

Jen said...

I totally agree, Mary. I learned more that weekend and felt more inspired than i had even dreamed possible.