Happy Birthday, Patricia Wrede, born 27 March 1953
- Nine times out of ten, talking is a way of avoiding doing things.
- First, write every day, whether you feel like it or not, even if it’s only a little bit — a paragraph or a sentence. You learn to write by writing, just as you would learn to play the piano by practising a lot. Most people don’t like hearing this, but writing is work, and it takes skill and practice, just like any other art. Also, no job is 100% fun, and writing is no exception.
- Second, get really good at the boring technical bits: learn how to type, to spell, to write a grammatical sentence in your sleep. This is terribly important, though a surprising number of people seem to think they can ignore it.
- Third, read a lot — and not just the kind of thing you love and want to write, but a little of everything. As a reader, you can love fantasy or science fiction and not want to write anything else, but as a writer, you need to know what else is out there and how it works.
- Finally, have a life. It is hard to make anything in a book sound interesting if you aren’t really interested in anything in real life.
- Authors are notoriously bad judges of their own work, especially when it’s fresh. Either you think it’s great when it’s terrible, or you think it’s terrible when it’s really great. The thing is to remember that you have to get it down on paper before you can fix it. First drafts are not required to be good enough to publish; that’s what revisions are for. And it’s never the book in your head… but sometimes it turns out to be a better one.
- Many, if not most, of the best and most lasting children’s books have multiple levels, some of which are not fully accessible to their most likely readers…at least, not on their first read-through at age eight or ten or fifteen.
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