Thursday, January 28, 2010

Writing Styles: a look at three authors

Tip of the Day: If you are going to SCBWI conference in NYC this weekend have a FAB time!! I'm so jealous!

The Saturday before last I did a YA Panel at The Book Stall in Winnetka, IL with two awesome YA authors-- Julie Halpern, author of:




















and Beverly Patt, author of:




















and it was A LOT of fun! Hopefully fun for the audience but lots of fun for me too. I love learning about other authors and how they write. Someone asked us how we knew when our book was finished and ready to send to the editor. And we all had totally different answers. Take me for example, when I think a book is as awesome as I can make it, I send it to my individual critique partners. They'll read and mark up the manuscript and then send it back to me. I'll go through their notes and make changes that I agree with and then send it to my agents. My agents will send me back notes, I'll make changes again, and then send it back to them. At this point, if they think it's cool, it goes to my editor. That's me.

Now take Beverly Patt. She meets with an in-person critique group. Before their meeting she'll send out what she wants the group to review and then at the meeting they'll discuss it. Eeeek! I'm not sure I could do this. There is something about having everyone talk about my work in-person that freaks me out a little. It's much less stressful (to me) to read an e-mail from an individual. It sounds like it works for Bev though and she even made it sound fun. Bev told a story about how she once killed off a character in one of her books and how when she got to her meeting the whole group was wearing SAVE LATONYA stickers. Too cute.

Last was Julie Halpern. Wow, I'm AMAZED at her process! It sounds awesome and works great for her as her books rock. Julie said she writes out the entire book by hand in a notebook. Then she types it into a word document. Then she sends it to her editor. That's it. Are you amazed too? She doesn't go back and stress and freak out and revise like a crazy person over and over again! No outside feedback! Just her and her editor! Whoa. Too cool.

So what's your process? What's your next step once you've finished writing your book?

Kristina, Miss Delighted to Debut















(Me, Julie Halpern, and Beverley Patt. Photo by Julie's nice hubby)

6 comments:

DeenaML said...

Adorable pic and interesting to hear the different ways authors work!

C.K. said...

Interesting. What a lot of work writing the entire manuscript out by hand! Wow.

Aside from that I think I'm most like Julie. I revise a lot as I go (I'm a slow writer) but don't do any major revisions later on until my editor and I are working on it. My husband is the only one who reads and comments on my books (this is once I've finished the first drafts) before my editor sees them. I'm a firm believer in the expression, "Too many cooks spoil the broth."

Kate Fall said...

I need to hear from more than one beta reader. Then I pay extra special attention to things that more than one person picked up on.

Tina, it sounds like you got great questions from the people at your signing. How cool!

S. C. Green said...

I have beta readers that critique my story in one to three chapter chunks. I call them The Amys (for obvious reasons, I hope), and they give me all the criticism and encouragement I need. We meet face to face at least once a month, twice if we can manage. Since we do this while I'm writing the story, I make a point NOT to go back and rewrite until the WHOLE thing is finished. I merely take notes for later and continue on.

Beverly Patt said...

Hey Kristina! We DID have fun, didn't we?
You could do another post on how quickly (or not, in my case) authors work - how many books did you say you've written since The Espressologist? Six? Seven?
You amaze me!
XO
Bev

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