Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process

John McPhee

Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process
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Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process

John McPhee

Draft No. 4 is a master class on the writer’s craft. John McPhee shares insights he has gathered over his long career, and has refined while teaching at Princeton University, where he has nurtured some of the most highly regarded writers of our time. He discusses structure, diction and tone, observing that ‘readers are not supposed to notice the structure. It is meant to be about as visible as someone’s bones’. This book is a vivid depiction of the writing process, from reporting to drafting to revising - and revising and revising. Draft No. 4 is enriched by personal reflections on the life of a writer. McPhee recalls his early years at Time magazine, and describes his enduring relationships with The New Yorker and with his publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Everything in this luminous book is enlivened by his keen sense of writing as a way of being in the world.

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