Sunday, September 20, 2009
Revising Fiction by Kirt Hickman
As treasurer of our local Red River Romance Writers, I opened our group postal box and found an autographed copy of a writing craft book, sent to our group for a door prize. The name of the book was "Revising Fiction: Making Sense of the Madness" by Kirt Hickman. Before taking it to our meeting, I started reading it myself. Though in the middle of another craft book by a famous author, I soon lay it aside and devoured this new book.
Starting with the writer's concept and research for a story, Kirkland moves to the major premise of the manuscript, goes to chapter breaks, then to the nitty-gritty of adverbs, punctuation and turning passive into active.
I loved his list of cliches. He used his own fiction and showed what his critique group pointed out, and how he corrected the problems. Then, his easily-understood exercises gave his readers opportunity to apply the concepts to the manuscripts they were writing. The show and tell section was invaluable. With the help of this book, I tightened and deepened emotion in my fiction.
His self editing instruction would offer valuable tips to one thinking of writing a first manuscript, and for the multi-published author would present a workable tool for revision and/or rewriting.
I highly recommend this book. Since I must give it to the members of my writing group, I'll be ordering one for myself, so I can mark it up for future reference.