Sunday, May 4, 2008

Successful authors reveal the keys to writing well!

This was originally published several years ago.

Celebrated author Anne Rivers Siddons, who wrote Heartbreak Hotel, Homeplace, Peachtree Road, and King’s Oak believes that “good writing is just about the most subjective thing” there is and “feels she is always at the edge of writing well but never succeeds.”

Now “deep into a new book” entitled Outer Banks, to be published in late July, she “follows a rigid schedule” when she is writing. “Ten to three, five days a week in the beginning and longer toward the end with a Saturday and/or Sunday thrown in.”

Siddons believes “that good writing requires thought and preparation.” For her last several books she has submitted outlines to her agent and editor. The Peachtree Road outline ran some 170 pages, leading an editor at Harper & Row to suggest wryly that perhaps they ought to publish the outline. For King’s Oak, Siddons did a 75 page outline to tie together “all the unfamiliar woods lore and ecological facts” informing that work.

But outlining is a recent thing for the prolific Georgia writer. She “wrote more from personal experience” in most of her previous books (Heartbreak Hotel, Homeplace, and her most recent Outer Banks) so that “emotional impact and memory delineated both the character development and plot.”

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