TODAY’s TIP: a Writer’s TWO Jobs

044d6-pencil2bpower11 Days to go

First, You Write. Now, you EDIT.
A Writer’s Two Completely Different Jobs

I was reading Stephen King’s On Writing this morning and came upon the tale of his first encounter with a professional editor. He was a high school kid who got a sports-reporting job at his small-town newspaper.

Here’s what his editor told him:

“When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story.” © 2000, Scribner p.57

He went on to say that at first what you write is for you. When you edit, you’re preparing it for the reader.

sculptor-7Writing coach and author Elizabeth Ayres notes that Michaelangelo claimed that carving David was merely removing the stone that wasn’t David. ” As writers, we have to create the marble first.” she said. “Your first draft is the raw material. Then you need to remove the unnecessary material and polish to reveal what’s inside.”

So, ladies, it’s time. If you’ve written your story, take it out for a rewrite, with an eye to remove everything that isn’t necessary to the story.

If you’ve already done that, consider teaming up with another writer and ‘beta reading’ each other’s work. See last week’s post on Writing Buddies for details.

PS: for you procrastinators, THERE IS STILL TIME! Get going! I am cheering you on!

One thought on “TODAY’s TIP: a Writer’s TWO Jobs

  1. Friends — WRITE YOUR STORIES! I did it and got my creative juices flowing, and it felt great. Just write SOMETHING — just PLAY! 500 words isn’t too much, and I’ll bet you find yourself writing more as you get into the flow.

    Even if you’re not inspired by word count, or think exercises like this are a little programmatic, the idea is to get writing and try something new. There’s nothing like it, when it’s done, to feel that sense of accomplishment. It translates into your other projects, the ones closest to your heart.

    Git er done! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s