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The trick to writing by layers – like artists

December 8, 2015

This post was super helpful to me. While not necessarily a new idea, it helped to remind me that I don’t have to have every page perfect before moving on.
I clicked onto his brother’s link. Colin does have a beautiful talent.

Matthew Wright

One of the ways to get structured written content assembled quickly is to write it in layers.

The original artwork for Kiwi Air Power by the RNZN's official artist Colin C Wynn, which I commissioned and which now hangs on my wall... The original artwork for my book ‘Kiwi Air Power’, which I commissioned from the Royal New Zealand Navy’s official artist, and which now hangs on my wall…

It’s a bit like painting.  Most artists don’t start off with a blank canvas; it’s prepared with a broad sketch, then washes. Only then does the artist start filling in the detail, often by layers.

My brother in law is a professional artist – one of New Zealand’s leading maritime artists, in fact, and the RNZN’s official artist – and I’ve watched him work. His approach is very different from amateur paint-by-numbers, where every detail is filled in piece by piece.

The thing is, I often find writers approaching what they’re doing as if it were paint-by-numbers – writing every sentence until perfect, then moving on to…

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