Welcome to Petite ReviMo, February 15th & 16th!
May your weekend be revisionful! For more ReviMo info, click here.
Today we have with us, Nancy Furstinger! Welcome Nancy!
While I’m not as focused on writing the perfect sentence as Oscar Wilde was, I do sometimes have to turn off the critical part of my brain. That snarky part will snarl at me, and insist that every sentence must be perfect or no one will read a single word I write. So I chuck my background as an editor and write what Anne Lamott calls a “Shitty First Draft” in her encouraging book “Bird by Bird.” Then I put away that first draft, but let it percolate in my brain. It’s easier to rewrite and revise when you’ve distanced yourself from your words.
Sometimes you don’t think you can pump out one more word of revision, but then your publisher suggests a brilliant new angle. Suddenly you’re re-invigorated! This happened to me twice, and the resulting books were stronger.
“Creative Crafts for Critters” started out as fun crafts that kids could create for their cats and dogs. My publisher asked me to add birds, fish, and pocket pets to the mix. So I created crafts for the furred, finned, and feathered. These revisions helped me to rack up some great reviews!
My new picture book, “The Forgotten Rabbit,” is loosely based on my huge New Zealand white bunny, Marshmallow, who lived the first three years of her life in a tiny outdoor hutch before transforming into a house rabbit. My publisher suggested incorporating a story line about rabbit agility (a sport similar to dog agility) to appeal to the picture book crowd. Fab idea! I had the young protagonist build a homemade agility course and then later compete with her rabbit at an agility event. I punched up the manuscript with oodles of active verbs. And I was fortunate to be able to work with the illustrator, offering her suggestions about how to depict both types of agility courses and send her photos of Marshmallow racing around and “binkying.” I think kids will really enjoy the exciting action!
Instead of approaching revisions with trepidation, embrace them. They could lead you in surprising and inspiring directions!
Thank you Nancy!
Nancy's been a writer since the third-grade, when her class put on a play she wrote. She thought it was amazing to hear people reading her words, and immediately decided to become a writer.
After college, Nancy started out as a newspaper reporter, interviewing intriguing people and writing about every topic imaginable. Nancy caught the book bug when she worked as a managing editor for two children’s publishing companies. Now I've finally found her niche, working as a freelance writer—the most rewarding job ever! Check out Nancy's books here: http://www.nancyfurstinger.com/books.html.