Monday, April 9, 2012

"YARN" Talks With Debra Spark About Writing

Four Way author, Debra Spark talks to YARN, Young Adult Review Network, about writing.

"Is there a writer who doesn’t get stuck? The best advice I have is to write a lousy draft. Don’t even try to do a good job. In fact, make it your assignment to do a bad job. That way, you’ll get something down on paper. Then wait some time—well, if you have some time! Go back to the draft, and you’ll probably find something worth building on. Also, I advise taking notes about what you want to write on, if you’re writing a paper or essay. Another idea: say you had to do something like write what you think about a book you’ve read for class. Instead of doing a paper, imagine writing a letter to your closest friend, someone you speak to frankly and regularly. Start your paper by writing, “Dear Bess, I read this book, and it is really kind of amazing. At first, I thought maybe the characters were a little clichĂ©, because it starts with this sort of blue blood man, who has pretty retrograde ideas about life, but when I got into it, I realized that ….” (I am describing a book that I am reading now.) If you write a letter, instead of a paper, you will write what you really think, in the language you really think in. Then you can go back, neaten up the prose, cut out the salutation and the “Love, Debra,” and you’ll have your paper. Or at least a version with which to work."

Finish the interview here. Visit us online to get a copy of Spark's latest book, The Pretty Girl and see how she takes her advice on writing.