Michelle Obama “on what she and Obama tell their daughters to help them achieve their goals.” (Yahoo News)
“Read, write, read, read. If the president were here–one of his greatest strengths is reading. That’s one of the reasons why he’s a good communicator, why he’s such a good writer. He’s a voracious reader. So we’re trying to get our girls, no matter what, to just be–to love reading and to challenge themselves with what they read, and not just read the gossip books but to push themselves beyond and do things that maybe they wouldn’t do.
“So I would encourage you all to read, read, read. Just keep reading. And writing is another skill. It’s practice. It’s practice. The more you write, the better you get. Drafts–our kids are learning the first draft means nothing. You’re going to do seven, 10 drafts. That’s writing, it’s not failure, it’s not the teacher not liking you because it’s all marked up in red. When you get to be a good writer, you mark your own stuff in red, and you rewrite, and you rewrite, and you rewrite. That’s what writing is.”
Q&A at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School
Yes! As is often stated…writing is rewriting.
“The first draft means nothing.” I’m not sure it means nothing, but in my case it’s only a start, and a rough start at that. It’s the bare bones of what a story will become. So much happens from that first draft to the last. That’s when the characters come to life, when the plot issues are ironed out, when the emotions become more relevant and intense, and when the descriptions are made more meaningful.
I just finished making a character motivation change to TAKE ME HOME that required I rewrite several scenes and revise some internal monologue throughout the story. I cannot tell you how happy I am with the outcome. I love these characters and their journey together even more.
Revising is where such magically things happen to the manuscript that even the writer is surprised.