Ten writers for children. All with something to say.

1/17/10

Collaboration








We all imagine writing to be a solitary pursuit: one writer, sitting alone for hours on end, burning through their creativity with only their family pets to offer comfort and support. Sure, there are moments just like that. A lot of moments, in fact. But that's only part of the writing process, because writers can't do it all by themselves.

For me, the collaboration starts when I finish a draft of a novel ( or a picture book) and am ready for some outside feedback. I email it off to one of my trusty readers. After they get back to me, I revise more and send it to my next partner in crime, my agent Scott.

Sometimes he and I go back and forth a couple of times before he deems something ready to be sent off to an editor. For my first two novels, and now for my next two, that editor is Liz. And what we do is true collaboration.

Yes, I've got the story written. My characters and plot and suspense are all there. But they aren't ready yet. Not by a long shot. For The Compound, Liz and I worked for about 18 months shaping that manuscript until it was ready. Happily, The Gardener took half that amount of time, simply because of things I learned from her on the first novel. My hopes are that my two subsequent novels will take even less editorial revision time. But I always look forward to her having a hand in my work, because, despite all my alone time as a writer, I can't do it alone.

7 comments:

john said...

Stephanie, you are lucky to have such a great editor to collaborate with. I am so looking forward to seeing The Gardener soon.

Stephanie said...

I'm grateful every day to work with her, as I'm sure you know:)

Lauren said...

Stephanie, I too am looking forward to reading the Gardener-- I would love to hear more detail sometime about the back and forth with your editor.

Christy said...

Isn't it amazing to have someone who believes in you and the work, can see potential then guide you to higher levels? We are all incredibly privileged to engage in this process. What is the pub date for The Gardener?

Edie said...

You are so right, Stephanie. Most people think of writing as a solo and lonely effort, but there is so much behind the scenes collaboration with an editor, as well as with your trusted critiquers.

Stephanie said...

I think the pub date is June 1st. And I save all the correspondence as we are editing. Much to the chagrin of my much-more-organized husband...

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