Jack McDevitt Discusses Story Drafts

I don’t know how many people read Jack McDevitt’s journal. He updates it twice each month and there is often a lot of good stuff there. In his most recent update, Jack talks about his process of going through drafts for novels and stories. He writes,

The critical thing about a first draft doesn’t have much to do with how smooth the prose is. What it does is allow you to find out whether all the pieces fit. Whether  the characters work, and the logic makes sense.

Later, he points out a second problem that writers sometimes run into:

Sometimes there are aspects of a project that can’t be checked out in advance. You simply have to sit down, do the writing, and leave yourself open to whatever judgment shows up.

In his post, Jack provides real examples of how these two things have impacted his own work. It is a fascinating peek into the way a writer works. Go check it out. And be sure to read through to the end. There is some interesting Alex Benedict news, if you pay attention.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.

1 thought on “Jack McDevitt Discusses Story Drafts

  1. I should have caught up on my feeds earlier. This might have come in handy before my last few posts.

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