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Posts tagged ‘YA literature’

How to be a prolific writer like Walter Dean Myers: A three-step process

The mark of a successful writer is finishing the manuscript. Walter Dean Myers, an award-winning children’s and YA writer, should know. He’s written 110 books.

“People fail as writers not because they write badly,” Myers says. “They fail because they don’t finish the book they started.”

Myers, who is the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, spoke Nov. 2 at the Vegas Valley Book Festival.

Like most writers, Myers is often asked about his process. It never varies, he says. First, he wakes up at 4:30 or 5 a.m., every day.

“I come downstairs with the cat, feed the cat, read newspapers, and start my five pages.”

Depending on what stage he’s at in his current project — whether he’s writing a first draft or rewriting — he works for 2 ½ to 3 hours. On a recent trip to London, he said his routine didn’t change. Except for the cat, which had to stay at home.

“By 9 a.m. my wife wakes up and I can aggravate her for the rest of the day,” Myers says.

Myers has created a process that helps him think through his ideas into successful stories that sell. “I do every book the exact same way in three steps,” he says. Read more