Writing with plastic wrap

Often when I’m creating a new scene, at first I see only dim shapes moving, as if through layers on layers of plastic wrap. Maybe I see three people and guess who they are. I write that down. On the next revision, some layers are gone; the faces are coming into view. Another revision and how, yes, you see what they’re wearing, what’s in their hands, how they move, details of their space, the words they say. In the very last scene of When We Were Strangers, I saw Molly there, just that, and then the color of her dress and finally Irma reaching, despite herself, to study the seams. How do you visualize your revision process? What is your plastic wrap?

Pamela Schoenewaldt, historical novels of immigration and the search for self in new worlds: WHEN WE WERE STRANGERS, SWIMMING IN THE MOON, and UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY (all HarperCollins).

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Workshop on Point of View for the Knoxville Writers Guild, Sat. Feb. 18, 2017, 10am to noon

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Recent Review
“Absorbing and layered with rich historical details, in Under the Same Blue Sky, Schoenewaldt weaves a tender and at times, heartbreaking story about German-Americans during World War I. With remarkable compassion, the author skillfully portrays conflicted loyalties, the search for belonging, the cruelty of war, and the resilience of the human spirit.”—Ann Weisgarber, author of The Promise and The Personal History of Rachel Dupree

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