Econ 479

The Art of Writing, the Science of Economics

On writing fast

Useful words from film critic Roger Ebert’s new memoir Life Itself:

[In high school] I was a subscriber to the Great Lead Theory, which teaches that a story must have an opening paragraph so powerful that it leaves few readers still standing. Grantland Rice’s ‘Four Horsemen’ lead was my ideal. [Sportswriter Bill] Lyon watched as I ripped one sheet of copy paper after another out of my typewriter and finally gave me the most useful advice I have ever received as a writer: ‘One, don’t wait for inspiration, just start the damn thing. Two, once you begin, keep on until the end. How do you know how the story should begin until you find out where it’s going?’ These rules saved me half a career’s worth of time and gained me a reputation as the fastest writer in town. I’m not faster. I spend less time not writing.


Written by gregorymcnamee

September 23, 2011 at 7:40 pm

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