Blog #6

Robert Heinlein once said that a professional writer shouldn’t go back over his work doing rewrites. It’s a waste of time. Submit the first draft and let the editor worry about the details, remove whatever needs to come out, and make the necessary insertions. The writer has more important things to do. I guess that’s okay if you happen to be Robert Heinlein. My experience has been that first drafts are disasters. I’d be embarrassed to have any of them show up in print in their original form. The work is clumsy, sentences go on and on, there’s too much repetition, and a lot of the material is in conflict with earlier statements. A character who sat down a few lines earlier takes a seat

Blog #5

During my teaching years, I encountered occasional parents who didn’t approve of my introducing science fiction books into the curriculum. I can understand it, especially their concern that English classes should be teaching Ralph Waldo Emerson and Jane Austen rather than tales about rocket ships and time travel. The problem was that teenagers, even the smartest among them, are often turned off by classical literature. The Brothers Karamazov is a powerhouse, but a reader needs a fairly sophisticated level of maturity to appreciate it. An argument can be made that an English teacher’s primary responsibility is to ignite in the students a passion for reading. Make that happen, and the kids wil