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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Creating a Text – Sandra Scoppettone

What phases are involved in the creation of a text?

1st. I’ll never have an idea again.
2nd. Maybe I’ve thought of something.
3rd. Nah. Boring.
4th. Yes!
5th. Title
6th. Main character. Name. Setting.
7th. I decide who is murdered, where and how. I don’t have any idea who the killer is.
8th. Begin writing. 4-5 pages a day, 5 days a week. Sometimes 4 if there’s a good movie on Friday. Sometimes 3 if I get a better offer. I try to make it 5. I never write on weekends.
9th. I never look back at my manuscript. I keep pushing ahead. Of course I have to keep a separate list of character’s bios because I can’t remember.
10th. Somewhere around three fourths of the way through I know who the murderer is but I panic that I won’t be able to catch him/her. But I keep on going until the first draft is finished.

Now I read it through. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever written if not the worst thing I’ve ever read. I read it again and make notes, then do a rewrite. At this point I do work 5 days a week, sometimes 6. I read it again. It’s better but not very good.

I hand it over to my first reader and worry for two days. First reader usually likes it and gives me notes.

I hate the notes. I only take some. I read it one more time. My agent will hate it and no one will ever buy it even if my agent likes it.

I send it to my agent. I suffer for however long it takes her to read it, which is almost always only two or three days. During that time I think: what have I done? What was I thinking? I should have been a plumber.

Agent likes it but I don’t think she’ll sell it.

Eventually agent sells it. (Usually)

I’ll never have an idea again.

Sandra Scoppettone writes crime novels and novels for young adults; her website is: Sandra Scoppettone; she blogs at: Sandra Scoppettone’s Writing Thoughts.

One Response to “Creating a Text – Sandra Scoppettone”

  1. Diesel says:

    Very interesting. I guess I should stop going back and rewriting the same 4 chapters over and over.