As writers, first we make the clay, then we shape it into a vase, then we decorate the vase. We’ll talk about each stage and workshop first drafts, and discuss strategies for revision and editing.
Like many writers, I am character handicapped. In early drafts, my characters usually have blue eyes and brown hair. They talk about the weather. They nod, they turn, they look, they shrug. These characters can’t leave the page; they’re barely on it. I’ll suggest some strategies for creating more robust characters.
Margot Livesey grew up on the edge of the Scottish Highlands and has taught in numerous writing programs, including Emerson College, Boston University, Bowdoin College and the Warren Wilson low residency MFA program. She is the author of a collection of stories and nine novels, including Eva Moves the Furniture, The Flight of Gemma Hardy and The Boy in the Field. The Hidden Machinery: Essays on Writing was published in 2017. She is a professor at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and goes back to Scotland whenever she can. Her new novel, The Road from Belhaven, will be published in February, 2024.