Where I steal a post from a friend…cont. AWP conference notes

Filed under Writing.


Okay. I’m being lazy. And feel free to head over to my friend’s blog and read all her notes on the various panels she attended. Most of them relating to YA or middle school age genre writing. She’s funnier than me, and has good insights. I won’t mind. Really. http://ladysamanthasdiary.wordpress.com/


Below is a transcript of her piece on a panel we both attended. or go to her blog and read more: http://ladysamanthasdiary.wordpress.com/


Topic: Authors & Editor: The Relationship that Builds a Book



This was a refreshingly normal panel in a GIANT (Star Trek Convention Las Vegas Style) ballroom.  The moderator posed questions for the authors and the editor and they answered honestly and in Chuck’s case pretty humorously (need to watch Fight Club again, his books are too dark for me but Brad Pitt…).  Some of the questions:


1) How do you develop a level of trust with your editor 9or workshop group) when sending him work?  Answers:  recognize their authority and skill.  Articulate what works and what doesn’t up front so everyone’s level set properly. Surround yourself with clever people, who have a memory of your past work to draw from.


Don’t use your editor/agent as a therapist – be a professional they aren’t there to FIX your work (or your problems) – present them with finished work and see where it goes from there.


2) Do you ever get to a point where you don’t think you need an editor?  Answer: resounding NO from each.


3) How do you use your workshop process to improve?  Answer (Chuck/Monica) they meet WEEKLY (still!) in Portland.  It is exciting and fun with not competitive with each other.  The push each other to be better.  It is a good natural competition (unlike an MFA workshop where everyone is competing for attention).


4) What happens if you have a BAD writer in your workshop/group? Answer (Chuck/Monica) lie and tell them the group is disbanding… No – if you have a good ratio of great writers and bad writers then you can actually learn something from the bad AND possibly help them get better.  Answer from Jess – his one workshop only he and another person were really serious about it, most wouldn’t read the pages before group or would fake it and come in w/ lame feedback like “I didn’t understand it…”.  He kept the one serious person as a ‘beta reader’ and ditched the rest.

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