Thursday, April 28, 2016

Judy Blume on Character versus Plot, and her 'Security Blanket' for writing that first draft

In this archived interview on Cynthia Leitich Smith's amazing Cynsations blog, Judy Blume discusses her process.

Here are two highlights:

 On whether she's a Character or Plot-focused writer,

I'm a character writer but there wouldn't be a book if that character didn't have a story to tell. I tend to get ideas about a character in a situation. I don't like to think about "plot." I don't know everything that's going to happen when I begin. I know where I'm starting and where I'm hoping to wind up (though that sometimes changes along the way). The hardest part of writing for me is getting that first draft. I find it pure torture. 

To help with that first draft, Judy has a strategy,

I keep a notebook for months before I actually sit down to begin a new book. Before I start the notebook I have a vague idea of the characters and their story, usually something that's been brewing inside my head, sometimes for months, sometimes for years. I jot down anything that comes to mind during this period -- details about characters, bits of dialogue, chapter ideas, descriptions - sometimes even scenes. This way, when I actually begin, I have my "security blanket." 

It's a great interview (and very reassuring to hear that even Judy Blume revises multiple times!)

Illustrate and Write On,

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing this. I like where she says, I get the first draft down asap and as spontaneously as possible and just tell myself if I die tomorrow no one will see it... it's reassuring to know a seasoned author like Judy Blume whom I read as a child also struggles with the first draft!