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SHANNON HALE

Post  Amanda on Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:36 pm

So...Shannon Hale is pretty much my writing who-I-want-to-be-when-I-grow-up type person, and has influenced my writing style greatly, along with Garth Nix(his Abhorsen trilogy). And Figment.com hosted a chat with her on their forums! So I got to ask a question, and she answered it. Shocked Thought y'all might want to see what she said:

My question--"Hi, Shannon! Just wanted you to know that your books and writing style are an inspiration for my own writing. My copy of The Goose Girl is very well-loved! I'm quite excited for Princess Academy 2. =) My question is--about how many stages/rewrites would you say you go through, on average, for your young adult books? Do you rewrite everything, or do some things make it from first to final draft? Thanks so much for your time! ^_^"

Her response--"Hi Amanda, I do lots of rewrites. I do at least 12 drafts of each book, but each draft is different. Sometimes a draft is just a polishing draft, where I examine each word (especially the verbs). Some is mostly a trimming draft, where I try to get rid of every unnecessary sentence and word. Some drafts I cut and add chapters, add subplots, delete characters, etc."

EEE! This is the Amanda-equivalent of a Twilight fan talking to Robert Pattinson. Embarassed Seriously made my day. Very Happy
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Re: SHANNON HALE

Post  Amanda on Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:43 pm

Oh, and someone asked her how to write emotions without making them overdramatic, and Shannon Hale said, "how to write emotional moments without seeming dramatic? Usually I overwrite them, and then I go back and trim and trim and trim until I can communicate the mood with as few words as possible, especially with as few adjectives as possible. Those darn adjectives are mostly to blame for the cheese."

I find this helpful, as I tend to underwrite emotions. Embarassed
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Re: SHANNON HALE

Post  Amanda on Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:48 pm

This one's funny! Someone asked her if it's hard to resist being cocky, since people love her writing so much.

Her response--"It's not hard to avoid being cocky as a writer. For any good that comes, any praise, there's also a lot of criticism. And there's always the next book, and my brain telling me, "You think you're hot stuff? Huh? Then write THIS story." Every book is humbling. Also my family humbles me. Mostly by mocking me."

Reminds me of Renée--every time I start to think 'yeah, I'm really quite good at this writing thing,' she grounds me with the mocking. Mocking is a good thing. Razz
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Re: SHANNON HALE

Post  Maggie on Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:49 pm

That's awesome!! I know what the fangirl-whilst-talking-to-author-and-getting-reply feels like. Razz I agree with everything she said about overwriting and then trimming. I agree with the trimming, but not the overwriting... That just seems like an extra step to me. O_o I like to just let dramatic scenes come out of my gut (yet they end up too dramatic anyway...what does that say about me?) and THEN trimming, trimming, trimming.

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Re: SHANNON HALE

Post  Constance on Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:31 am

That is awesome... and a lot of drafts... Shocked But still, awesome. I find her process fascinating. Smile
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Re: SHANNON HALE

Post  Shahira on Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:08 pm

I'm happy you got to talk to her!!!! I know exactly how it feels! I was just as ecstatic meeting Sarah Dessen. Smile)) But that sure is a lot of drafts. And I like what she says about not getting cocky. Smile
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