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Bon Journal

Stages of writing

First, panic! What do I need to know? Where can I get the information? Whom can I call on?

Second, it's nice to talk to different experts all over the world. It's nice to be able to count on a few friends who are so helpful.

Third, there's too much information. I'm overwhelmed. How are they all connected? What's the plot? I have to find a plot.

Fourth, will I make the deadline? I'm so mentally exhausted from talking to so many people. And I'm still waiting for a few critical people.

Fifth, I copy and paste different interview notes together, until the document is too long to print. Frustrated, I fall asleep.

Sixth, I wake up refreshed. Bingo! I've got a plot!

Seventh, false alarm. It doesn't make sense. I'll have to noodle some more.

Eighth, here goes. Hey, it makes sense. Let me run this by a few trusted people.

Ninth, here's the plot. Here's the beginning - the DECK. Here's the first paragraph. Here's the outline.

Tenth, I write continuously. I disconnect myself from the Internet. No distractions. The first draft is done.

Eleventh, I copy blurbs and paste them to emails to confirm on the quotes. If I don't hear from them, then I can only assume that they're too busy to care.

Twelfth, I edit. Usually I have to cut 1,000 words from the final draft. I always overdo it.

Thirteenth, I deliberately take a day off to distance myself from what I've written.

Fourteenth, I come back and polish it. Who will be the lucky few to preview my final draft before I submit it to the publishers?

29 October 2002 Tuesday

Crafting an article
The writing process
Comfort the afflicted
Director's cut
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Anne Ku
writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.