I've always been interested in how other writers work and create. This post isn't going to be about the detailed aspects, but more about how things work in a general sense.
I guess my own habits go back to when I was a freshman in college. In many ways, I look at writing as a science. I signed up for basic EN101, expecting to learn nothing more than how to answer an essay question on a final exam. And I already knew how to do that. So I was delighted and shocked when the Professor, Dr. Jean Atthowe, in Fairleigh Dickinson University, at the Florham-Madison Campus, opened the class with this comment: "By the time you get out of here, you'll be expected to write fifteen hundred words on the color blue."
The point behind her technique was as simple as it was complicated. She wanted us to learn how to write about anything...even something as mundane as the color blue...without going into a panic. And over the course of that semester, she used metaphors to help us remember; she used little tricks that trained us how to write on any topic. One in particular I loved was her reference to a paragraph as a sandwich, comparing the first and last sentences to slices of bread.
I'm also always interested in the process of getting commentary and critiqued. I've heard of beta readers, but I've never done that. I've heard of critique groups, but I've never been part of one. For me, and this is different for every writer, I have a rule that I never show anything I've written to anyone but the editor, the publisher or my agent. I know writers who disagree with me, but it's how I do things. I'm always open to any revises and changes, and any editor or copy editor who has ever worked with me knows this. But I'm not open to sharing my work with anyone else until it's been published.
Tags: the science of writing | technique | writing
Comments 5 | Hits: 738 | Read more...