Many writers say it: “I don’t read when I’m writing“. They think it will contaminate their voice, that whatever style they’re reading will somehow seep into their work and it really won’t be theirs. That’s only a problem if you’re writing a 21st-century urban romance and last night’s reading of Pride and Prejudice has you making your characters sound like they’re in an English drawing room and not a Miami nightclub!
Sound familiar? No! Oh, get real! We’ve all experienced this phenomenon when we absolutely have to write something, particularly on deadline. I’m talking about. . . . .uh, I can’t think of what the word is .. . oh, yes, it’s on the tip of my tongue . . . it’s:
A revised and expanded edition of the classic tutorial for would-be authors covers such topics as characterization, exposition, point of view, dialogue, proportion, and voice as it provides expert advice and techniques for transforming a manuscript into a published novel or short story. Original. 15,000 first printing.
There is a stigma associated with writers turning to editors for assistance with their work. Some people see outside editing as an unfair advantage, a form of literary cheating. Writers are expected to be able to objectively evaluate their own work. Interestingly, this is exactly the opposite of what one finds in other professions. Witness the famous phrase, ” A doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient.” Let’s not forget, ” A lawyer who represents herself has a fool for a client.” Writers are treated differently from these other professionals, though. Writers are somehow expected to turn in perfect drafts of novels, articles, work reports, and term papers. Their work must be edited before it is turned in. Anything less is considered unprofessional and unacceptable.