I had a fantastic weekend at Darcy Pattison’s Novel Revision Workshop this weekend. I’d read testimonials and watched videos of writers talking about how great this workshop was, yet I had little idea of what to expect. We had to read three other manuscripts as part of our pre-conference homework, and I knew we would be in groups with the people whose stories we read, so I mainly thought the workshop would be a weekend-long critique group.
Our manuscripts served as a jumping off point for discussion on the many exercises and concepts that Darcy introduced. We worked until we were exhausted, shored up by handfuls of candy that kept miraculously appearing on our tables. I had already worked out a revision plan for my novel (which included adding three new chapters, rearranging some chapters and cutting several pages) before the workshop. After the first evening, I suspected I would have to throw my plan out the window, but by the end of the weekend I still liked my plan, but had included some new scenes, including one which is absolutely vital. Some of the exercises included rewriting scenes I already thought were well written. In every instance, the scene was far better after following Darcy’s suggestions. Now I will scrutinize every chapter, every scene in the story, keeping Darcy’s concepts and techniques in mind.
I’m really excited about my revision for this story. If any of you have been considering revising a novel, I can’t suggest strongly enough that you find out where Darcy Pattison is holding her next Novel Revision Workshop and sign up for it right away. It may save you years of rewriting.
And now for the kidlit events in the Houston area this week. As always, the information for these events is taken from the website of the sponsoring bookstore or organization. As schedules sometimes change, please check these websites for current information.
14532 Memorial Drive, Houston
Join us as we welcome local paper artist Bruce Foster. In his latest pop-up book, Bruce has worked with Harry Potter film concept creator Andrew Williamson to create Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Book, a pop-up book that enters the world of the Harry Potter movies. He brings readers inside the Triwizard Tournament, Diagon Alley, and Hogwarts Castle.
Bruce’s pop-up books are amazing and this one is the perfect gift for any Harry Potter fan!
2450 Fry Rd, Houston
Katie and Claire absolutely love adventures. But even more than adventures, they adore being silly. Thankfully for them, their Mommy loves that too! In their first adventure, Katie and Claire wake up excited for one of Mommy’s special “promise days”. Unfortunately, they quickly discover that a cloudy, rainy day has put a stop to their plans.
Luckily, Katie quickly thinks of a way to turn the day into one of their most memorable ever! Be sure to join the silly sisters as they embark on many more amazing adventures!
907 W Main St (518), League City
Ramona Webb Holbrook signs Baby Buck arrives at the Big Red Barn
While all the horses in the corral were intrigued by the new arrival, no one was more eager than Sophie. She was finally going to meet her little brother, Baby Buck! What would he look like? What would he be interested in? And most important, would he like his big sister? Follow the adventures of Baby Buck, Sophie and their friends Cowboy Chris and Ginger in the first installment of the Big Red Barn series, Baby Buck Arrives at the Big Red Barn.
14532 Memorial Drive, Houston
Special Storytime with Anna Dewdney
It’s Llama time! We welcome Anna Dewdney, author and illustrator of the Llama, Llama picture books. She will be in town for a special storytime and will share Llama, Llama Holiday Drama with our Blue Willow friends.
In Llama, Llama Holiday Drama, Llama Llama and Mama Llama rush around, shopping for presents, baking cookies, decorating the tree . . . but how long is it until Christmas? Will it ever come? Finally, Llama Llama just can’t wait any more! It takes a cuddle from Mama Llama to remind him that “Gifts are nice, but there’s another: The true gift is, we have each other.”