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Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Enjoying creative writing's pace


“The deadlines are much, much longer with books. When I was a reporter, a lot of times I'd come in at 8:30 a.m., get an assignment right away, interview somebody, turn the story in by 9:30, and have the finished story in the paper that landed on my desk by noon.” – Margaret Haddix

Anyone who’s ever worked in journalism – particularly on “breaking news” – knows the reporter’s daily mantra:  “Write tight and write quick.”  Born on this day in 1964, Haddix studied at Miami of Ohio before starting her writing career as a reporter in Fort Wayne, IND, and Indianapolis before switching to the creative side in the mid-1990s.

Today she’s best known for her series’ Shadow Children and The Missing and her best-selling standalone books Running Out of Time and The Girl With 500 Middle Names.  She has authored more than 30 books and won the          International Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award for her body of work. 

As most journalists know, creative writing is a luxury after dealing with the daily deadlines of the reporting world.  “Generally I finish a first draft in 2-6 months, then I set it aside for a while so that when I come back to it I can read it with fresh eyes and figure out how to improve it.   I can spend as long revising a manuscript as I spent writing it in the first place.”

She said she prefers the ‘Creative’ world.    “It's just so much fun to make up characters, situations, and everything else about a story,” she said.  “I have so much freedom and flexibility to do whatever I want.”

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