Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Three Most Important Things in Writing: Revision, Revision, Revision

Jordan Brown is a Senior Editor at HarperCollins.  He works with both Walden Pond Press and Balzer & Bray.

The core of a book is central element of the story to which all readers can relate.    The second quality is the book should be about the most formative experience of your young character's life.  (Series can be exceptions.)

The hardest part of revision is getting perspective on your own work.  

When revising, start with the core of your story and work on revising the surface elements to be consistent with the core and making it consistent. 

Ultimate rule of writing:  You can do whatever you want as long as it works.

Nothing is sacred in your work.

Know the stakes for your character.  What happens if he/she doesn't get what they're after?

See how little detail you can use to set a scene.  Pick one or two of the most important details.  What does the character notice above all of the other details?

Kurt Vonnegut rule:  start as close to the end of your story as you possibly can.  It can help books that are dragging.  Don't start a book with the things you need to get out of the way.  Start with the most exciting scene and get exposition in later.

Surprise yourself.  Be unpredictable!

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