Freshman Comp for Fiction Writers

I spent today teaching four of my five Freshman Comp classes — Mondays and Wednesdays are brutal for me this semester — all about the different kinds of sentences: simple, compound, complex, and complex-compound. We do this by writing a whole bunch of them, and then asking ourselves what effect we get by having a whole lot of them all in a row. (Hint: the answer we’re looking for is that we want to mix them up.) But it occurred to me that the advice that the classes all seemed to come to is also good advice for fiction writers.

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Countless Re-reads

Logically, if you think about it, you realize that authors need to read their own work many times. We re-read it as we’re writing. Personally, I re-read before submitting. We re-read while it’s going through the editing process. What hadn’t ever really sunk into me, though, was just how many times I was going to have to re-read the “final” book as part of the proofing process.  Continue reading