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Dash Shaw asks Hope Larson about editors

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Dash Shaw, writing for Comics Comics talks to Hope Larson, author of Salamander Dream, Gray Horses and Chiggers about her experiences of working with editors.

I send in the troubled first draft of my script, and my editor (and her editorial assistant, if she has one) sends me reams of notes that address the themes of the book and problems with structure and character, plus a few niggly little notes. This batch of notes always starts with a paragraph or two telling me how great I am, how much they like the script, and how I don’t have to make any changes I don’t want to make. (Usually the notes are spot-on, but there have been times when I’ve refused to change a line, or omit a swear, or disagreed about the direction a scene should go.)

Notes do sting, but they leave me invigorated, ready to dive back into the story with greater awareness of both its weaknesses and its strengths. Many–or most–of my writing epiphanies are the result of an editor saying, “This doesn’t work. You need to rethink this.”

Written by The Department of Illustration

September 1, 2009 at 2:08 pm

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