During our second critique meeting at Chautauqua, Juanita Havill told me that the revisions I need to work on are the fun part. I have to agree. Now that she's helped me find a place to begin my revision, the ideas are coming quickly. The Slushies are going to see big changes in this new draft.
One of the things writers hear all the time is, "Kill your darlings." I've had to do that this go around. There was a whole journal thing my character was doing, but Juanita asked whether it really served my story. It was interesting. There was a twist to it. But she was right, I didn't need it. So I let it go. I'm now changing that "kill" for "euthanize." Let it go. It's like hanging onto the clutter from your past. It doesn't serve the life you live now. That fondue pot from the one fondue dinner you made twelve years ago? Let it go.
The other thing that is starting to happen is I'm liking my characters more, and letting them be more themselves. I have to thank Patti Gauch for that one. She dared to ask, "Am I sassy enough?" And, now that I think of it, she advised us to let go too.
I decided the other day that too much happened at Chautauqua over that week to sum it all up here. My notes, while helpful to me, may not be the most entertaining for you to read. But I will continue to post little snippets as I apply them. If you want more about what happened, check out the blogs of Nora and Louise.