Award-winning Author Sam Staley on His Writing and Editing Process

Listening to other authors’ writing and editing processes can be helpful as writers learn what works best for them. Some authors plot, some discover the story as they go. Some authors edit at the end of chapters, some edit at the end of an act, and some wait to edit until the end of a manuscript. Sam Staley (SR Staley), award-winning author, film critic, and educator, explains how he writes and edits a story. Staley rarely struggles to get to the final draft of a story because he is fascinated by his own characters and plots. This fascination comes, in part, from his own writing process in which he discovers a story along with his characters. For the most part, he enjoys this approach because it’s engaging for him—so engaging, in fact, that he occasionally becomes upset when he discovers that a character is about to die. He does a mix of editing and writing as he goes, which allows him to extensively revise. He highly recommends constant revision for a variety of reasons. Listen to the clip below to get ideas for your own writing process! 

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