In chapter 4 of “Coaching Writers,” Clark and Fry identify 15 habits of many strong writers. Strong writers:
1. see stories everywhere.
2. prefer their own ideas.
3. report voraciously
4. agonize over leads.
5. immerse themselves in their story.
6. “bleed” rather than “speed.”
7. take time to organize.
8. rewrite and rewrite and rewrite.
9. trust their ears and feelings more than their eyes.
10. love to tell stories.
11. remember the reader.
12. take chances.
13. devour books and movies.
14. write too long — and they know it.
15. guide the reader to the end.
Carefully reread Clark and Fry’s descriptions of these habits. Do you recognize yourself in any of them? Have you had the good fortune to work with an editor who knew how to support those habits?
Do you recognize these traits in any of the writers with whom you work? What can you do as an editor to support such writers?
Posted by Jill Van Wyke, Sept. 11, 2008