From Tom Jenks, A Poetics of Fiction: a Master Class in Writing

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One of the tips that came from attending Tom's class was to avoid using the superlative. However, in order to adequately describe the impact the workshop had on me, I will break that rule and say that it was right up there among the most meaningful experiences of my adult life.

Reading the free sample of Poetics, specifically the section “Mortality: Time in the Lines,” explained a difficulty I was having putting chronology into my first draft. I didn't understand my apprehension about committing a novel set in the 1980s to a realistic time frame. Many chapters are marked, “when?” Tom's explanation has set me on a productive path of revision. BTW, I can say the same for “A Brief Handbook of Revision for Writers.” I was wondering about my draft's episodic style and lack of transitions. Again, Tom’s explanation let me know the gaps are common areas addressed in revision. I am a first-time novelist.