Revising with E.M. Forester’s Aspects of the Novel
So you have a first draft of a novel. Congratulations! Now you need to make it better—but how? Where do you start? We’ll use E. M. Forster’s 1927 classic Aspects of the Novel to discuss how one might go about tackling such a project. His ‘aspects’ are divided into the Story, People, the Plot, Fantasy, Prophecy, and Pattern and Rhythm; these will provide guideposts in our discussion.
Nicola DeRobertis-Theye’s debut novel The Vietri Project will be published in March 2021 by Harper. She was an Emerging Writing Fellow at the New York Center for Fiction, and her work has been published in Agni, Electric Literature, and LitHub. A graduate of UC Berkeley, she received an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she was the fiction editor of its literary magazine Ecotone. She has taught creative writing at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington and the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts. A native of Oakland, CA, she now lives in Brooklyn, New York.