LECTURE: The Incredible Shrunken Manuscript

By making your story small, you'll be able to see the big picture! And you'll know where you need to revise. 17 minute video/powerpoint.


Many years ago, I was asked to read a novel by a friend.

Now, I was poor and didn't have the money to buy reams of paper. I used the power of word processors to change the font size to 8pt, and took out all the extra blank lines.

Suddenly, a funny thing happened: one chapter fit onto a single page. And I could start to see the overall structure of the story. My critiques focused on the overall story, not on individual sentences or punctuation.

Slowly, I developed the Shrunken Manuscript technique to help writers SEE their story for themselves.


What will you learn?

You'll learn how to see the structure of your novel by using this technique. You can do it with paper copies or digitally. This isn't a theoretical exercise, but a deeply practical one.

This simple tool will give you the confidence you need to create a memorable novel.

Who should take this course?

All novelists, beginners to advanced, will benefit by learning to shrink their manuscript because it will help you understand what you actually wrote on the page.

You may be thinking, "I don't understand much theory about writing novels. I just write. Will this help me?"

Yes! You have ideas about how a novel is structured, even if you haven't formally studied it. Otherwise, you couldn't write a novel. We all know story because we've heard stories all our life. What this technique does is to pull out those ideas and make them visual. A novel is such a long story that it can be muddled because we can't keep it all in our heads at once. With the Shrunken Manuscript technique, you don't have to. You simply analyze your story. It's YOUR story, so how did you expect it to go? Did you actually do what you wanted to do? That's the sorts of things you can look at with this technique.

Your Instructor

Darcy Pattison
Darcy Pattison

Storyteller, writing teacher, Queen of Revisions, and founder of Mims House (mimshouse.com) publisher, Darcy Pattison has been published in nine languages. Her books, published with Harcourt, Philomel/Penguin, Harpercollins, Arbordale, and Mims House have received recognition for excellence with starred reviews in Kirkus, BCCB and PW. Three nonfiction nature books have been honored as National Science Teacher’s Association Outstanding Science Trade books. The Nantucket Sea Monster: A Fake News Story was named a Junior Library Guild selection for December, 2017. The Journey of Oliver K. Woodman (Harcourt) received an Irma Simonton Black and James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children's Literature Honor Book award, and has been published in a Houghton Mifflin textbook. She’s the 2007 recipient of the Arkansas Governor’s Arts Award for Individual Artist for her work in children’s literature.

Writing teacher and award-winning children's book author Darcy Pattison speaks frequently for schools, conferences, and professional development workshops.

Course Curriculum

  The Incredible Shrunken Manuscript
Available in days
days after you enroll

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

Get started now!