Welcome to DearEditor.com’s 2013 Revision Week!

Welcome to a week of free edit giveaways (directions to be posted each day starting tomorrow) and revision advice and insights like these…

Larry Dane BrimnerLarry Dane Brimner, author of 150 books for readers of all ages. “The number of drafts it takes to get any manuscript “right” is directly related to the amount of time I’ve spent thinking about a project before I stand in front of my computer station to compose.”

Laura GriffinLaura Griffin,New York Times bestselling romance writer, with 11 acclaimed novels. “I always try to remember that no matter how compelling a plot is, the reader is really in it for the characters. So I try to make sure I focus plenty of attention on character arc so that the story will have an emotional punch.”

BHbySonyaBruce Hale, award-winning author/illustrator of nearly 30 books for kids. “When I can’t find anything else to tinker with, and I have that general feeling that if I mess with it much more, the entire souffle will collapse in a soggy heap — that’s when I know it’s the final draft.”

Matthew_s_Portrait_-30__30Matthew J. Kirby, breakout author of two novels for young adults, with two more anticipated novels. “My confidence in how the characters and scenes are working doesn’t seem tied in anyway to the number of times I’ve revised them, but to my general awareness of the story as a whole.”

Susan Stevens CrummelSusan Stevens Crummel,author and co-author of nearly 20 picture books. “We feel that this is what makes our collaboration successful–it’s an organic process where the story and art evolve together, meshing to create a more cohesive product.”

peter_economyPeter Economy, bestselling author and ghostwriter of more than 6o books. “It is extremely important that I capture my client’s voice and that he or she is comfortable with the style and happy with the book that results. If I haven’t accomplished that, then I have failed.”

Thank you for joining us. Tomorrow, Larry Dane Brimner pulls back the curtain on the revision process.


  1. I think it’s interesting that Richard Peck rewrites his stories about six or seven times. (I can’t remember which. I was under the impression that it was the same amount with each one.) I like to hear how writers approach rewriting.

    • I was on the faculty with Richard Peck at a writers conference in Texas years ago. He’s a wonderful presenter, and I distinctly remember the audience’s gasp when he shared the fact that when he finishes a manuscript, he goes back to the first chapter and JUST THROWS IT AWAY. He doesn’t even read it. He explained that when he started the book, he didn’t know the characters yet. The wonderful Patricia Newman mentions this in an author profile she wrote after interviewing Richard: “‘I am writing with so much more confidence,’ he says. He rewrites the first chapter ‘shorter and stronger and aiming all in the right direction with all the irrelevancies removed.'” Here’s the link for his profile: http://www.patriciamnewman.com/peckR.html. She’s got a ton of other great profiles, too.

  2. As I do not work from a preplanned plot, my first chapters are tentative, actually, all over the place, and have to be rewritten or forgotten. It is so much different when i reach the end of the novel, and I have learned and felt so much more. The last chapters flow with little need to revise.

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