The excellent organization, Glimmer Train
, which offers competitions to writers each month, also provides subscribers with a booklet called "Writers Ask," in which fiction writers talk about their craft, work habits, challenges, and other matters to do with putting words into an interesting order and getting them printed by a publisher. I often find what these individuals say interesting, and I thought that over the next few months I'd share some thoughts with which I agree and that any would-be author should probably take note of.
Here's Ha Jin
talking about his method, which I think makes very effective use of the different media for writing to hone text:
Usually, I write longhand and then rewrite it when I'm putting it on the computer. I like the state of the screen because the text is fluid and it gives me the feeling that nothing is fixed, that I can do anything. But I have to keep a record; otherwise, I may lose some good passages. It takes a long time for me to make the text relatively fixed on the screen, and then I print it out and work on the hard copy, using different pencils over many drafts. I don't know how many drafts I go through in hard copy. I take it to the point where I don't think I can do anything about it. But nowadays, I have deadlines to meet. This is not good because the work is not fixed and finished yet. A manuscript somehow has its own demand of time and of how much energy it needs put into it. I try to always give myself enough time to edit so I can meet its demands.