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Fail Better

Posted By Alex Belth On January 31, 2013 @ 9:29 am In 1: Featured,Arts and Culture,Bookish,Creative Process,Links: Interviews | Comments Disabled

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Over at Salon, here’s the most gifted Jennifer Egan [2]:

One of my strengths as a writer is that I’m a good problem-solver. I write these unthinking, ungoverned first drafts. The project for me always is to turn that instinctive stuff into pages that work.

I want all the flights of fancy, and I can only get them in a thoughtless way. So I allow myself that. Which means that my next step has to be all about problem-solving. My attitude cannot be, Gee, I wrote it, it’s good. I’d never get anywhere. It’s all about seeing what’s wrong from a very analytical place. It’s a dialectic.

Once I have a draft I make the plans, edit on hard copy, and make an extensive outline for the revision. The revision notes I wrote for “Look at Me” were 80 pages long.

This essay appears in a new book: Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and WhyThey Do What They Do [3].


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URL to article: http://www.bronxbanterblog.com/2013/01/31/fail-better-3/

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[1] Image: http://www.bronxbanterblog.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/6a00d8341c630a53ef015432089423970c-800wi.jpg

[2] here’s the most gifted Jennifer Egan: http://www.salon.com/2013/01/27/jennifer_egan_goon_squad_could_have_been_better/

[3] Why We Write: 20 Acclaimed Authors on How and WhyThey Do What They Do: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0452298156/?tag=saloncom08-20

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