The Maker's Eye: Revising Your Own Manuscripts
2352 WordsFeb 13th, 201210 Pages
The Maker’s Eye: Revising Your Own Manuscripts
Donald M. Murray
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1924, Donald M. Murray taught writing for many years at the University of New Hampshire, his alma mater. He has served as an editor at Time magazine, and he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1954 for editorials that appeared in the Boston Globe. Murray’s published works include novels, short stories, poetry, and sourcebooks for teachers of writing, like A Writer Teaches Writing (1968), The Craft of Revision (1991), and Learning by Teaching (1982), in which he explores aspects of the writing process. Write to Learn, (6th ed,. 1998), a textbook for college composition courses, is based on Murray’s belief that writers learn to write by writing, by taking…show more content…
There are, however, a few writers who do little formal rewriting, primarily because they have the capacity and experience to create and review a large number of invisible drafts in their minds before they approach the page. And some writers slowly produce finished pages, performing all the tasks of revision simultaneously, page by page, rather than draft by draft. But it is still possible to see the sequence followed by most writers most of the time in rereading their own work.
When students complete a first draft, they consider the job of writing done – and their teachers too often agree. When professional writers complete a first draft, they usually feel that they are at the start of the writing process. When a draft is completed, the job of writing can begin. That difference in attitude is the difference between amateur and professional, inexperience and experience, journeyman and craftsman. Peter F. Drucker, the prolific business writer, calls his first draft “the zero draft”–after that he can start counting. Most writers share the feeling that the first draft, and all of those which follow, are opportunities to discover what they have to say and how best they can say it. To produce a progression of drafts, each of which says more and says it more clearly, the writer has to develop a special kind of reading skill. In school we are taught to decode what appears on the page as finished writing. Writers, however, face a different