Hello -

I'm Amy Alessio, the Teen Coordinator of the Schaumburg Twp. Library and a writer. I've been lucky enough to be a panelist the past two years at LIM and was a participant before that. I'm going to be blogging about writing, mysteries and more over the next few months to help tide us all over until the big event. I look forward to good discussions and comments on this blog!

Obviously, in addition to my own pleasure reading of mysteries and non-fiction, I read a great deal of teen books of all kinds. I review for the bookreporter.com series of websites and Crimespree as well as other places. One of my favorite teen authors is Meg Cabot (Princess Diaries). Meg also writes fun stories for adults, and some recent mysteries: the Heather Wells series. The latest one is "Size 14 is Not Fat Either." Meg has a blog on her site and has recently been writing about the editing process. She said that writing is like having homework all the time. She also wrote of the joys of the first draft followed by the lows of the heavily marked manuscript arriving at her house to fix.

I'm already seeing high school teens in the library with piles of books for homework for the new school year, or at least laptops! Do you think being a writer is like having homework all the time?

My own experience would have to support that theory. I have published one librarian book that went through about three drafts in its entirety, which wasn't too bad. I have a YA mystery under consideration with a publisher now. I was thrilled to sign with an agent at LIM last year, only to discover that he then wanted some more revisions before sending it out. I thought after doing several to get to that point I had only to sit back and relax, haha! (Before meeting with the agent and getting the manuscript ready is another long blog entry for another day!) Seriously, though, sometimes I find revising easier than writing something new. Of course I was the type of teen who triple spaced reports to get the full required length out, too. What do you think is easier - new creation or revising?

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Comment by Silvia Foti on August 31, 2007 at 11:56am
New creation is more difficult for me. The blank page is one of the scariest mountains to climb. It's a massive block of marble. What do you do with it? Which inch do you chisel out first? What shape do you give it? It's physical labor that induces blood, sweat, and tears.

Revision, true revision, is like taking another big block of marble and doing it over, but this time avoiding most of the mistakes.

The part I like most is polishing, tweaking words, refining syntax, including or deleting imagery.

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