Canada Writes·Writing Tip

Wondering how to write your best story? Get something down

Laurie Sarkadi says your first draft won't be your best. Just get it down.

This writing tip is from Laurie Sarkadi.

"When you experience something that shakes you inside for whatever reason: curiosity, shock, anger, fear, sorrow, laughter, elation, disbelief, this is often ripe material to explore in your writing. Don't expect to write the best story you can on your first draft, just get it down; use stream of consciousness if you have to in order to get the words out. Then go back into what you've drafted and start revising. You'll see where to add flourishes, what to let go, how to make it entertaining. Ask a trusted reader or editor for comments, then continue the polishing process until you shine your story down to its essence."

Laurie Sarkadi is an award-winning writer, producer and editor of EDGE YK magazine. She moved to Yellowknife as the Edmonton Journal's northern bureau chief then spent sixteen years telling northerners' stories through CBC radio and television. Her latest book is a memoir called  Voice in the Wild.


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