Advice from the Masters: Maxwell Perkins

Dec 19, 2012 | Better Writing

Maxwell Perkins may not have been the best literary editor ever, but he would certainly be in the running for that title. At Scribner’s he was the editor for F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Thomas Wolfe, as well as Marjorie Rawlings and Alan Paton. Here’s one piece of his sage advice.

“Just get it down on paper, and then we’ll see what to do with it.”

You may have ideas and thoughts and intentions, but until you get them out of your head and into your computer or down on paper, you don’t have anything to work with. Once you’ve done that you can edit, improve, add new material and re-arrange what you’ve got.

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