New goal: Revising ‘Masterpiece’


Okay so, now that I’ve reached my Camp target for new word count, I’m going to turn around and see if I can manage a revision in a week and change. The Oddfellows of 2013, (my Odyssey graduating class,) have pledged to critique each other’s stuff via email and to have something ready for critique every two weeks, which is a bit of a scary thought, but I’m willing to give it my best try, one story at a time.

The first piece I want to submit for a post-Odyssey critique was actually the last piece I submitted for critique in the workshop, but it was for a private critique with Sheila Williams, so my classmates haven’t seen it yet. Hopefully, before the deadline of the first Monday in August, I can do a decent revision incorporating Sheila’s critique and line edits.

One thing she suggested I change was the title; I wrote the story under the working title of “Tunnel of Love”, and then after being inspired by a stray line of dialog at the end, submitted it as “Frigga’s Masterpiece.” Sheila didn’t think the reference to Frigga in the title worked well, and suggested “Slaved to Love”, but I really want to leave the word ‘masterpiece’ in there. I’m planning to make some changes to make the motif of the masterpiece painting clearer through the story, and I’m thinking of changing the title to “Love is a Masterpiece”, which brings in the thematic element of love more clearly. It’s also now a direct quote out of the song that inspired me, Carolyn Dawn Johnson’s “Masterpiece.”

I’ve been working on a list of other things from Sheila’s critique that I can work on, including:

  • Having my main character take more direct physical action toward her goal. There’s only one part of the current draft that really fits this description, but Sheila said it was the best part and she wanted more of it, so I’m working on plans to make that a three-beat.
  • Make a particular minor character less obtuse.
  • Tweak another pair of minor characters so that they don’t come out of nowhere and add something to the plot.
  • Explore the motivations of one of the secondary characters.
  • Adjust a plot element that isn’t really working well in the ending yet.
  • Try to figure out other ways to give more bang to the ending.

I think I need to break ground on the revision draft tomorrow, though I can keep working on the plan as I go, instead of just blundering around editing whatever seems best at the moment.

Wish me luck, friends and followers!

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