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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Author Insight: Draft Disruption

Does reading while you draft disrupt your writing process?

"Only if I read YA, which is sad because I adore YA. As a result, I tend to go on YA reading binges whenever I get a chance!"- Elizabeth Scott, author of Grace.

"No. It used to. Now I could probably juggle fire while writing and not be distracted." - Heidi Kling, author of Sea.

"Absolutely not, I'm always reading SOMETHING.  I try to keep reading a lot, so there's always a lot of words passing through my brain.  That way, I don't worry that something's going to stick.  Reading also helps because it reminds me that other people made it past where I am (if I'm stuck) or overcame obstacles (if I'm blocked)." - Scott Tracey, author of Witch Eyes.

"I do like to read what I’m writing as I’m working on a draft but sometimes I have to just stop myself and plow ahead without looking back." - Danielle Joseph, author of Indigo Blues.

"Yes, I draft really quickly, and don’t read at all while I draft. I need to enter almost an altered state when I am working; it’s like I move back to Gatlin again, every time I return to the series. I wouldn’t want to disrupt that break from reality / descent into our own fictional world." - Margaret Stohl, co-author of Beautiful Creatures.

"No, usually it helps my writing process.  Just last week, I was stuck on a plotting problem and I reread Hunger Games.  I had a sense that if I read a well-plotted novel, a solution would come to me and, sure enough, about 1/2 way my read, I knew how to fix my own manuscript  On the other hand, I refused to read any fiction books about abuse while I wrote Split.  I needed Split to have its own internal logic and earn its own insights.  I didn't want to be worried about whether I had anything original to say until after I knew what I was trying to say.  Then I could judge whether it was original." - Swati Avashti, author of Split.

"Sometimes, yes. I tend to revise as I go along, so I write a big chunk, go back and polish, then write another big chunk. So I can't get too hung up on making words look pretty before I write more." - Karen Kincy, author of Other.

"Not at all—I love to read, and I actually do it more while I'm drafting.  It helps me keep structure and craft in mind when I'm working on my own stuff.  Also, there is nothing like reading someone better than you to make you want to improve!" - Brenna Yovanoff, author of The Replacement.

"No.  I think of myself as a sponge.  I have to soak up enough input (books, tv shows, plays, movies, research) in order to come up with enough output (my own stories.)  Often when I get stuck in the drafting process, I realize it’s because I haven’t had enough input in a while." - Bree Despain, author of The Dark Divine.

"Yes. If I’m writing toward a deadline, I blast through a draft, getting it down as quickly as possible. If I read back over something I’ve written, I kind of lose my mojo and it’s hard for me to continue writing. I’ll sit and pick and pick at the scene and have to force myself to move on." - Courtney Allison Moulton, author of Angelfire.

"It can. I usually try not to read the kind of thing that I’m writing. So I’m working on urban fantasy, I usually read something else: non-fiction, romance, epic fantasy. Whatever strikes my fancy. That way I don’t get tangled up in someone else’s story when I’m writing." - Diana Pharaoh Francis, author of Bitter Night.

"Yes, very much!  When I'm reading a book, it's ALL I want to do with my time.  I have to schedule days/weeks during the year when I'm allowed to read.  Otherwise, I spend all my time lying around and engaging with other people's stories and not finishing my own." - Mindi Scott, author of Freefall.

"It had better not, since I'm always working on something and I do need some time to read! If I'm reading crap, then yes, I worry sometimes that it could break my voice, but I'm always very inspired if I read something beautifully written." - Diana Peterfreund, author of Rampant.

"I usually don't read much while I'm actively writing or revising, but it's not so much a conscious choice as it is a lack of time. Plus, after staring at a computer screen all day to the point of my eyes crossing, the last thing I want to do is read---that would be headache city. Which is why I tend to watch a lot of TV on DVD when I'm in work-mode. When I wrap something up, though, I'll sit down and read an entire novel in an afternoon." - Anastasia Hopcus, author of Shadow Hills.

"I don’t generally read while I draft, just because I get hyper focused on my WIP—but if I do, it tends to be literary fiction. And I’m always reminded of how much I love it." - Michelle Hodkin, author of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.

"No, but I try not to read something too similar while I’m in the first draft so I won’t be influenced by that author.  I’m writing a fantasy right now, so I’m reading a lot of contemporary and historical middle grade and YA." - Kristin Tubb, author of Selling Hope.

Come back Thursday to learn if the rest of our authors can read while they draft!
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1 comment:

  1. I like how the authors seemed to interpret the question in a couple different ways. Very fun! :)