Thursday, September 3, 2020

BBC Highlights "Surprising Secrets of Writers’ First Book Drafts"

This article, "Surprising secrets of writers’ first book drafts" was fascinating while at the same time being a little horrifying. I'm not sure I would want anyone reading the first draft of any of my books...

Proust's madeleine? "started out as a slice of toast and a cup of tea."

Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, in the first draft, was detective Sherrinford Hope.

And Oscar Wilde censored himself before being censored further by his editor and then booksellers. "The Picture of Dorian Gray, his best-known work, began life as a short story, and as the manuscript shows, his changes incorporated a degree of self-censoring. References to Basil Hallward’s relationship with Dorian are toned down. Basil talks of Dorian’s ‘good looks’ instead of his ‘beauty’, while his ‘passion’ becomes ‘feeling’.”

Is knowing all this deflating or inspiring? After all, writing is rewriting, really. Maybe it's a mix.

Read the full piece here.

Illustrate and Write On,

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