"Revis's book should find its way to the keeper shelf of both aspiring and accomplished writers." --Publisher's Weekly
From the Author
When I say this, I do not mean thatit was my job. I mean that it was a part of my identity. Of course, there weresome bits of the job I didn't like (grading, politics, more grading), but thepart I did like--teaching--was something that I loved so wholly that it became aningrained part of who I was.
Or perhaps it was who I always was,and I just didn't know it.
Whenever there was a concept ortheory or problem that I couldn't quite grasp, I taught myself by breaking itdown into its elements and thinking of how I was learning, notjust what I was learning. My notes when I was a student were alwaysa mess of charts and arrows and connections between ideas (and short storiesand poems scribbled in the margins).
Everyone has a different way ofthinking, and my way of thinking tends to be an analysis of how an ideadevelops. I do not at all believe in muses, although I do believe ininspiration. I don't get writer's block--I discover bad story structure. Storiesthemselves are layers--not just in history and symbolism, but also in structureand plot and character development. Just like when I was a teacher and wouldfind lesson plans in the oddest places, now I read stories and tend to seebeyond the words, Matrix-like, into the scaffolding.
I say this now so that youunderstand any advice I give is merely what has worked for me, and this allcomes from my own self analysis. I am not at all an expert, and you shouldnever entirely trust anyone that tells you "how to write." Write the way youwrite--if it gets words down on paper, it's more than good enough. But this bookis the sort of thing that would have helped me when I was starting out, so Ithought I'd share it with you.