Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process

This book contains some of the most useful advice about writing that I’ve seen, much better than the random writing classes I’ve popped in and out of over the years. Especially useful is the section about Structure, originally in the New Yorker like the rest of McPhee’s stuff. One example is the cyclical nature of his Alaska tale, how he starts on day 4 of the adventure in present tense, goes to the end and loops the first 3 days as flashback in past, all to support the true nature of when they ran into bears along the way. Also in this chapter is information on the program McPhee uses— Kedit, a bare bones text editor that doesn’t do fancy things like pagination or spell check but will count the number of times you use words, zapping you for over-reliance on certain terms.