From Rough to Final: TEN Dissections - Maggie Stiefvater
January 23, 2012

From Rough to Final: TEN Dissections

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So, do you remember the last time I blogged? Like, two hours ago? This blog post was originally scheduled to be that blog post, because I hadn’t planned on winning a Printz Honor or Odyssey Honor today. Anyway, I did, and I posted about them first, but now that that little life-paradigm-changing news is out of the way, I can talk about a group effort that I’m really pleased about.

This is going to be a writing post.

I’m a hands-on learner, one of those people who would prefer to be told “recreate x” without a strict set of directions on how to get there. So when I posted my dissection of a rough chapter from THE SCORPIO RACES, with a description of why I changed the things I did, I was doing it because it would’ve helped starting-out-writer-Maggie in a way that theory never seemed to. For me, it was all right to be told how to do something. But it was even better to see someone at work at that something. If they would describe what they were doing at the same time, even better, but really, the most important thing was the work in progress. It’s why when I taught my colored pencil classes, I used to do the same thing:

Moose in Progress

The reaction to my chapter dissection suggested that I wasn’t alone in my learning style, and a few commenters wished that other authors might do something similar. I shot out some feelers and I’m pleased to tell you, some other authors are doing just that. Below is a list of dissection blog posts by ten other authors. I hope this helps show just how many different ways there are to get from A to B, and also gives everybody ideas on which way might be right for them. And thanks to the readers who prodded me in this direction. Without further ado, the blog posts:

Okay. So now what is going to happen is I am going to go make the world’s largest batch of chocolate chip cookie dough because I just don’t see how I can process the events of this week without it. Tomorrow I’m flying out to work on my anthology with Brenna Yovanoff and Tessa Gratton and I’m afraid they’re going to have to bear the brunt of my demented grinning.