Monday, September 17, 2012

0 Need a Master Class in 1st 5 Pages Revision? See 5 Manuscripts Transformed w/ the Help of an NYT Bestselling Author.

The second revisions for this month's First Five Pages Workshop are up for comment based on the suggestions made by our guest mentor, the wonderful Nancy Holder, and the other workshop participants.

I love watching the transformations in the workshop and seeing what I can apply to my own work. Discovering what different people see in the same few paragraphs, I always learn so much, and it is invaluable to watch the way our guest mentors evaluate what works for them and what isn't quite as successful. Seeing a story from the perspective of an NYT bestselling author who is also an MFA instructor this month is a priceless learning experience.

Come join in! Tell us what you think of the stories as they are now, and then look back to see where they've started. Read the comments to see how they've gotten there and then roll up your sleeves and see where you would suggest the writers go from here. What makes a great first five pages? What pulls you in? What drops you out of the story? What makes YOU buy-in?

Some of Nancy's Books
This week's revisions are posted below The Things That Travel With You When You Write post directly under this one. Just scroll down to read them. Then whether you're still working on writing your own manuscript, or in the process of revising, I encourage you to take advantage of the chance to see what Nancy has to say about the work the five manuscripts in the workshop. Examine her comments on the originals posted last week, and see how the workshop participants applied her suggestions--and the suggestions of the other writers. What would you suggest (kindly and respectfully, of course!) from here that might get the writers up another level in the next revision? Post your suggestions if you're willing, but even if you don't post them, think about what you would say. This is a master class all by itself and a great chance to apply Nancy's expertise to your own writing.
About Nancy Holder
Nancy Holder

Nancy is an author whose work has appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, LA Times,, LOCUS, and other bestseller lists. A five-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award from the Horror Writers Association, she has also received accolades from the American Library Association, the American Reading Association, the New York Public Library, and Romantic Times.

She and Debbie ViguiƩ co-authored the New York Times bestselling series Wicked for Simon and Schuster. They have continued their collaboration with the Crusade series, also for Simon and Schuster, and the Wolf Springs Chronicles for Delacorte (2011.)
She is also the author of the young adult horror series Possessions for Razorbill. She has sold many novels and book projects set in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Saving Grace, Hellboy, and Smallville universes.

Nancy has sold approximately two hundred short stories and essays on writing and popular culture. Her anthology, Outsiders, co-edited with Nancy Kilpatrick, was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award in 2005. Pretty Little Devils and The Watcher’s Guide Volume 1 appeared in the New York Public Library’s Books for the Teen Age, and The Watcher’s Guide Volume 1 also appeared on the Los Angeles Times Bestseller List in 1999. Saving Grace: Tough Love won the 2011 Scribe Award for General Fiction/Best Original Novel.

She teaches in the Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing Program, offered through the University of Southern Maine. She has previously taught at UCSD and has served on the Clarion Board of Directors.

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