Writing is about revision: the wisdom of Hallie Ephron

Roz Kay

By Roz DeKett

The battle with the draft seems never-ending. There’s nothing quite like taking a preliminary 70,000 words, pulling it apart and throwing out what doesn’t work, and realizing you only have 16,000 words  you can live with. For a full-length novel.

That’s happened to me.

So it was an enormous relief when I heard author Hallie Ephron speak at

Hallie Ephron Hallie Ephron at the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference in New York City, 2015

the 2015 Writers Digest Annual Conference on revision—and learned the draft she felt was fit to be seen for her latest novel, Night Night, Sleep Tight, was draft number 36. And that was before it went to the publisher.

Not only that, draft number 36 landed at 310 pages, while her discarded content (what she calls her “out file”) came in at a mighty 236 pages.

Hallie’s message? “Writing is about revision.”

Hallie Ephron is a best-selling author…

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