Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lisa Graff: Write like an author, revise like an editor #scbwiwwa

Here are a few highlights:
  • You have to be good at revising before you even have an editor, so you're presenting your best work;
  • If you're a first-time author, your manuscript needs to be in publishable shape because an editor doesn't know if you can't revise and has to assume your book isn't getting better; and
  • Writing and revising require different hats (say, Dr. Seuss vs. a construction hardhat).
When Lisa writes, she does a complete draft and "it is terrible." She doesn't like writing the first draft and does it as quickly as possible. Then she puts on her editor's hat and reads it in one sitting. She takes notes (e.g. "make this part not suck").

Then she writes a new draft and repeats. Lots of times. She makes major changes. Kills characters. Changes endings. Changes themes.

Follow your muse, but recognize that stories often change.  

No comments: