Richard      Sanders




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Richard Sanders

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Born
in Rockville Center, NY, The United States
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Member Since
April 2011

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I worked as an Executive Editor at Entertainment Weekly for 11 years and (in two separate stints) at People magazine and people.com for 12 years. I often speak to young journalists and try to use myself as an example for inspiration—a guy who spent time in jail, rehab and a psych ward and somehow went on to become a successful editor at Time Inc. and managed to stay sane and alive. I’ve tried to reflect those experiences in my books.

You can follow me on Facebook
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Richard Sanders I learned to write overnight. Literally. By the time I was 14, I knew I was a lousy writer and a bored reader and consequently I was carrying a C-…moreI learned to write overnight. Literally. By the time I was 14, I knew I was a lousy writer and a bored reader and consequently I was carrying a C- average in English through my freshman high school year. I sucked at the subject and I didn’t care. One day the teacher came in and started passing out books. Sitting in the back (my usual place), I heard the groans as the books were passed back. When I saw the title, Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, I groaned too. Then we started reading the first act.
I spent a lot of time daydreaming when I was a kid, filming scenes from imaginary movies in my head. One of my favorite scenes involved three men talking on a pier by a lagoon. Which, of course, is the opening scene of The Merchant of Venice. Now I know the similarity was merely coincidental, but at the time it hit me like a lightning strike. The idea that I could have something in common with the world’s greatest writer, that we’d shared the same daydream, stunned the hell out of me. And it shocked me enough to make me actually pay attention to what I was reading.
One of the first things I noticed was the pronounced rhythm and flow of Shakespeare’s language. Which of course is what you get when you’re reading iambic pentameter. But I’d never been conscious of rhythm in any writing before. It made me realize, for the first time, that good writing has a beat to it. It has moves. It’s like music. And I realized too that a rhythmic beat was exactly what was missing from my own flat and plodding C- essays in school.
We had to write an essay on the first act that night. I went home planning to test my musical theory. Of course I really couldn’t use iambic pentameter as a model for prose, so I checked out one of my parents’ old college textbooks on world literature. I found some nice rich tempos in Nietzsche’s Thus Sprach Zarathustra and Baudelaire’s Flowers of Evil. I have no idea what I said about the first act, but by putting some cadence in the words, I got an A+ on the essay. First time in my life. And I got an A in the course—again, first time in my life.
From that night on, I knew I knew how to write. There were many other lessons to learn about writing, sure, but as long as I could think of writing as music, I knew had the basics down.






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Average rating: 4.00 · 39 ratings · 13 reviews · 13 distinct works · Similar authors
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My father was crazy, he’d gone crazy with guilt, but he was the best father I ever had.
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