Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Polishing your work according to Aristotle

Last night was my last session on picture books with author Andrew Weale. His last piece of advice was polish your work.

Personally, I love the process of writing and creating. The other stuff, polishing your work until it's shines is hard. 

According to Aristotle the parts of language, such as style and characterization, are the easiest for young writers to master, and that only upon maturity do writers demonstrate command of the subtler techniques that lie beneath the surface of the text, such as structure. 

Yet, time and time again we spend hours fixing the obvious mistakes. Most writers begin their editing with spellings, tuning up their phrases, tightening their sentences.  We ignore deep character flaws and plot holes, because deep down we know it means that it may mean going back to the beginning and starting again.

It is strange that it is through picture book writing, with a maximum of 900 words that I finally understand a good edit needs more. To revise successfully, you have to know what you’re writing about, what your story is, your point. You have to know what it is that makes it unique. What's inside the story that moves you?

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