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Showing posts from March 26, 2017

The Power of the Edit

I should have listened to Harriet Wilson. Instead I fought her, she was not gracious about some high school punk sassing her, and it started a small war. The year was 1982 and I was a senior at South Eugene High School. Harriet Wilson was my AP English teacher and she was pissed. And rightfully so - at that age I was lazy, and probably rude. I loved writing, and reading of course, but as a teen those were not priorities for my attention, and it showed.

Harriet told me that my first drafts were crap. Utter crap. She also said that my second drafts were so much better it was like they were written by a different person, but she lost me at "crap". Like a defensive child I closed my ears and wrote her off as a b***. She might not have had the most charming teaching style, but she was totally right. I know that now. My first drafts are still crap. And my second ones are better, and my third ones are sometimes acceptable, but it often takes a fourth and fifth pass to make them wh…