Secret Library Podcast

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Secret Library Podcast Episodes

#30 Sarah Selecky

Sarah Selecky | Secret Library Podcast

Sarah Selecky | Secret Library Podcast

Sarah Selecky is back! It's time to get into revision...

I must admit, I was a little nervous to have this conversation with Sarah Selecky. As a NaNoWriMo winner five times over who then went on to leave each of those novels untouched in drawers and on hard drives, I am not a great champion of revision as an easy process. Sarah is back, having finished her own first novel draft and into the revision process herself.

It was a total joy to discuss how she approaches revision. It felt so much lighter and more enjoyable than how I've felt about re-writing in the past. If you have revision fears or think you'll never write something that's really worth revising, this will be a cnversation that will light you up as it did for me. May we all move on to second drafts together...

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Show Notes for Episode 30 with Sarah Selecky:

  • Sarah is the first repeat guest (1:45) Mentioned: Episode 12 with Sarah

  • Dipping our toes into revision (3:15)

  • Going away to re-read the draft (3:45)

  • Finding what happened unconsciously in the first draft (4:00)

  • On taking light notes during a re-read (5:00)

  • The dream state element of writing (5:45)

  • Why it helped to write forward without looking back (6:00)

  • How errors feel smaller once you finish the first draft (7:00)

  • Staying loyal to the source behind the image (8:00)

  • Doing the left brain stuff of structure and consistency (9:20)

  • The fear of the monster critic under the bed and how revision can actually be fun and gentle (11:00)

  • Re-writing the book from scratch the second time around: the nitty gritty steps (14:15) Mentioned: Scrivener

  • Keeping "reality" straight (17:00)

  • The magic that happens deep into the creative process & naming characters (19:15)

  • The spiral of ideas and the mystery of threads of story over time (24:45)

  • The logic of the first draft continues into revision (27:30)

  • Why the party is not over with revision (28:15)

  • Learning to revise in community (29:00) Mentioned: The Story Workshop

  • What makes a good workshop (30:30)

  • Being in a healthy relationship to your own work (32:15)

  • Working with feedback & the grey area there (33:30)

  • The danger of responding to opinions - the Frankenstein story (34:40)

  • Working with critique to protect your own writing from your inner critic (36:30)

  • Literary projection - the reader isn't always right (37:40)

  • The critic is listening (39:15)

  • Working with a reader and witnessing writing (39:50)

  • Starting to share the work (42:30) Mentioned: Mary Oliver's Upstream

  • What's happening from one book to the next (43:45)

  • One more draft (44:15)

  • The ease of revising in Scrivener (46:10)

  • Breaking down the revision timeline with math (47:00)

  • Not knowing how to do it (49:00)

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