Duke Southard

Author, Educator, Lecturer

Professional writers

MemoirpanelNothing new appears to be happening in New Hampshire with the Stacey Burns murder. Yesterday was her birthday. It surely would be nice if her killer was in jail before her next birthday rolls around, but I have serious doubts about that.

This post is in the writing process category. I am reading a book by one of my favorite authors, a prolific mystery/suspense writer. He’s one of those “New York Times Bestsellers” and a gifted story teller. What I occasionally wonder is whether a noted author has to go through the same editing process as those of us not so well known. Sometimes, I find things that completely surprise and disappoint me, basic errors that had I made them, would place me squarely in the amateur category of writers.

For example, in one paragraph early in the book, the pronoun “he” begins nine out of the ten sentences. I remember being chastised, even berated, by another author friend for doing the same thing in the draft of my first novel, A Favor Returned. Here’s what Robert Newton Peck told me. “Groom your own mare before you market her. Groom your writing prior to submitting it.” Then, referring to beginning seven sentences on one page with the “he” pronoun, Mr. Peck said, “This not good style; it’s just plain sloppy.”

I’ll never stop learning about good writing, but I guess when I’ve published thirty or so books, I won’t have to worry about the editing process so much.

Duke

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I'm Duke Southard, author, educator, and lecturer.

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