Posted in ideas, info, writing

Inside the writing

I was recently thinking about what my next post would be about when I stumbled onto something interesting about Mary Higgins Clark

A lot of people have read books by her, she’s known as the Queen of Suspense. I was in high school when I first read her book “Two Little Girls in Blue.” It’s a unique and well written book.

What amazed me though, is this.

She once said that when she’s writing, she’ll write a chapter and then immediately send it to her editor. As in, her work is so good on the first try, she doesn’t need to revisit or revise it at all.

Like holy crap, that is talent.

I think this amazes me because I’m not like this at all. My first drafts are awful, sometimes the scenes aren’t even complete yet. A lot of times, I just have the main part, or the meat of the scene in my head at first. So if it’s a fight or a certain argument, I’ll write that part first. Then, I’ll come back later (sometimes much later) and add in the intro or the transition into that part of the chapter.

Then, in the rare times that I pump out an entire chapter at once, it’s still usually not very good yet. It will take a few round of edits and smoothing things out before I’m pleased with it. I’ve had chapters that I had to rewrite the entire chapter several times, or that just needed extreme amount of editing. I stopped counting after the 6th.

So the fact that this lady can just write out a beautiful chapter in one go and turn it is just astounding. Maybe it’s because she’s been doing this for a long time? Does after a while, it get easier to write a first draft?

Because if there’s a secret, I’d sure like to know it.

Is anyone else like this, or are we all writing crappy first drafts?





Hi, I'm Ames! Welcome to my blog. About me Female Favorite foods: Apples, fried chicken and grilled cheese sandwiches. Hobbies: Traveling, reading, learning languages, writing and cooking. Favorite TV show: Big Bang theory. Hopes for this blog: People I don't personally know read my blog.

5 thoughts on “Inside the writing

  1. My opinion: I think it depends on your style of writing. I personally get something readable the first time, and almost never rewrite a chapter. I personally do much less rewriting than writing. I don’t know whether that’s good or not, but it’s what I currently do.

    My first or second draft work is still nothing compared to MHC, but I do find it just as strange when people say that their first drafts are just messy skeletons of the final plot. I can’t write quick and dirty first drafts, I don’t know how.

    TL;DR bc I am rambling: MHC is awesome, but I find the ‘messy first draft’ process just as alien as hers. I’d be curious as to what a messy first draft is supposed to look like.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your insight. I’d say your lucky you work that way. My first drafts are very readable, but they’re just messy. At that point, I’m not super concerned about grammar and I tend to ramble a lot. Much of my editing is refining and chopping.


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