Rewriting 101: Your Novel, Your Script, Your Writer’s Brain
Place: Hugo House, Spring Term, 2011
1634 11th Avenue, Seattle WA 98122
Time: Wednesdays, 4-6pm starting April 6 and ending May 11.
Register: email@example.com; phone: 206-322-7030.
The Process: We write in class, using a timer. Then we read aloud. We write from targeted prompts aimed at your work. We work with tools that either speed up the process or help you go deeper. I learned the power of timed writing working with Natalie Goldberg in Taos. It changed my writing and my life. If your window is open, you will make progress.
Level: You’ll get more from the rewriting experience if you have a manuscript – real pages that will get better with deep work. The key to rewriting, whether the product is a novel or a film script, is fixing the subplots. To locate a subplot, you chart a character arc – entry, exit, fate, and core story. Then, using tools, you rewrite each scene on that subplot. With each scene rewritten, you tunnel deeper, and your subplot gains power and coherence. If you don’t have a manuscript, then you don’t have subplots, and taking this rewriting course is a waste of time.
Novel and Film: Both the novel and the filmscript have acts, scenes, and characters. Scenes have settings, characters have motives, objects, roles, agendas, body parts, and wardrobes. Characters speak in dialogue. When Jane Eyre leaps from the page to the screen, her core story is still Rags to Riches. Mr. Rochester is still the Monster. And his wife Bertha’s objects are still fire and knife. In a rewrite, novel informs film; film informs novel. Confession: as I write this, I am converting my thriller into a script, a compression exercise that highlights problems I missed while poring over the pages of the novel. If you’d like to jump-start your rewrite – a clever move – email Robert Ray at firstname.lastname@example.org. More writing tips on this blog – Bob and Jack’s Writing Blog.