Found this gem from one of my favorite authors. Thought I'd pass it along:
"I write from beginning to end, as if I'm reading the book, not writing it. I revise endlessly, rewriting each page at least six times. To show me how to shape my story, I keep other people's books on my desk to dip into when I'm growing lost in my own story--new books by my colleagues in the young-adult field and of course, always, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Writing is too hard to do alone; you need all the help other writers can give you.
"When I finish the book, I take the first chapter and, without rereading it, throw it away. Then I write the first chapter last, now that I know how the story ends. It means I write the first chapter with confidence because the first chapter is the last chapter in disguise." --Richard Peck, "A Conversation with Richard Peck," in his book Fair Weather, Puffin Books edition, 2001.
I especially like "the first chapter is the last chapter in disguise." Wow. Any thoughts? Has Mr. Peck, Newbery Award-winning author, inspired you, too?