A piece of writing is never finished; it is merely abandoned. Hemingway famously revised the final page of A Farewell to Arms thirty-nine times, and when an interviewer asked him to explain why, Hemingway said he was only getting the words right.
Placing the right words in the right order is every writer’s greatest hope, yet courses and craft books rarely focus on the importance of revision in this process. Revision is far more than a simple grooming of language. It is a messy, nonlinear, and often nonlogical endeavor whereby incongruous passages and superfluous characters are jettisoned in service of the piece at large. It takes courage to revise, to see a piece of writing in new lights, to commit fully to a project’s worth.
In this class, we will explore the revision process in a hands-on fashion, practicing several revision techniques centering on erasure. Please come to the class with a first draft (any genre) and a burning desire to kill your darlings (or at least imagine them dead).
Trey Adams is a fiction writer from the foothills of eastern Tennessee. He received his BA in English from University of Tennessee and his MFA in Creative Writing from the Stonecoast low-residency program. His work has most recently appeared in Gone Lawn, The Shore, and Whitefish Review.