The main thing I try to do is write as clearly as I can. I rewrite a good deal to make it clear. ~E.B. White, The New York Times, August 3, 1942
Writing a novel has three parts to it and was thinking how they’re each a marathon unto themselves and then I remembered helping a friend train for a triathlon. Aha, better metaphor. Point of reference – the Ironman consists of a 2.4 mile ocean swim, a 112 mile bike ride, then running 26.2 miles.
I would write a book, or a short story, at least three times–once to understand it,the second time to improve the prose, and a third to compel it to say what it still must say.Somewhere I put it this way: first drafts are for learning what one’s fiction wants him to say. Revision works with that knowledge to enlarge and enhance an idea, to reform it. Revision is one of the exquisite pleasures of writing.~ “Long Work, Short Life,” quoted in The Magic Worlds of Bernard Malamud, by Evelyn Gross Avery, SUNY Press, 2001.