“The world is beautiful, the world is hard. Fiction is duty-bound to reflect this.
To me, one of the most exciting things about being a writer is that there are always amazing new writers to discover and learn from. in my MG/YA research for my novel, I came upon a wonderful interview with Kate DiCamillo. a beloved children’s author who won a Newbery Honor for her debut book, Because of Winn-Dixie and an actual Newbery for The Tale of Despereaux, her heart=warming story about a mouse who loves to read books rather than nibble them.
In her interview, Kate said that there are a handful of books on writing that she turns to again and again, among them Art & Fear, A Sense of Wonder, and The Artist’s Way.
Like many successful authors, Kate didn’t start out as a writer, but at some point in her life, she felt called to become one. It wasn’t easy, and she had to find, not only her own voice, but her own way of working. Early on, she determined that a “manageable, reachable goal” for her was two pages a day. So that’s the target she set for herself when she began and she’s stuck with it.
Her writing regimen is simple: She gets up in the morning, gets a cup of coffee, and heads to her writing desk. When she’s written two pages that she’s satisfied with, she stops. Kate subscribes to the Hemingway approach — try to break off when things are going well, so you can start the next day on an up note. Kate likes to “blow through” her first draft and get a rough map of her story down, then revise extensively.
Two pages: It doesn’t sound like much, does it? Sometimes it only takes an hour for Kate to reach her goal — then she’s done writing and goes about the rest of her day. But think about it: Craft two pages a day and in 150 days — just five months — you’ll have 300 pages written! For Kate DiCamillo, this slow but steady approach has led to beautifully crafted writing and beloved books. For some helpful scrivening tips, check out katedicamillo.com. Write on!