Thursday, June 25, 2009

SRS Lash Flash #4: Kristin O'Donnell Tubb

Wow. In some ways this month has flown by, but the progress made indicates the time that's been spent. And the tips! Man have they been wonderful--not to mention helpful.

Today, I'm pleased to welcome debut novelist Krisin O'Donnell Tubb for this final Lash Flash of Summer Revision Smackdown. Kristin's book AUTUMN WINIFRED OLIVER DOES THINGS DIFFERENT hit the shelves in 2008, and she recently sold her second novel to Feiwel & Friends. Way to go, Kristin. Make sure you head over to Holly's where she has Mitali Perkins.

When I asked Kristin for her revision tip, she jumped out with this:


I might as well have hopped out of the bushes on a dark and stormy night and yelled, “Boo!”, right? That’s how I felt about revising until I took a Novel Revision Workshop with Darcy Pattison ( One of the coolest tricks I learned at that workshop was what Darcy calls the “shrunken manuscript:” shrink your entire manuscript down to single-spaced 8-point font, and remove all page and chapter breaks. This will bring a 100-page manuscript down to roughly 20 pages.

There’s something about working with a shrunken manuscript that makes the revision process seem more manageable. Perhaps it’s easier to kill off your precious words when they’re in 8-point font. Perhaps it’s easier to move a block of text two pages, instead of ten. And for visual learners like myself, it’s much easier to see the arc of your story when you can physically lay out your pages before you on the floor.

Revising is more than word choice and punctuation. It is “re-visioning” your story. And for me, being able to see my entire story in 30ish pages helps me to see if two characters play the same role, or if I’ve bludgeoned a point to death, or if the protagonist acts one way in Chapter 2 and another way in Chapter 10.
I have officially banished my fear of the Revision Ghouls leaping out at me on a dark and stormy night. Now if I could just do something about those First Draft Demons…
Thank you, Kristin!


Vivian Mahoney said...

One of these days, I will try the shrunken manuscript method. Nice advice!

Jennie Englund said...



Kristin Tubb said...

Hi, Vivian! The shrunken manuscript is great! I'm squinting at one right now! :-)

Hi, Jennie! "Re-visioning" = a cheesy but effective way of thinking about it! :-)

Thanks for the comments, y'all! :-)


Anonymous said...

I'm sold on the idea of re-visioning. Cool!

Cuppa Jolie said...

Thanks, Kristin. The shrunken ms tool can be a bit intimidating, but is incredibly powerful and interesting.

Kristin Tubb said...

Hi, Jill! Thanks for the comment! ;-)

Thanks again, Jolie! Yes, shrinking down your words do "fine print" is a little intimidating. It's helped me a lot, though, because I *am* so visual, I have a hard time seeing the big picture without *seeing* it. :-)

Happy revising to all!