Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"How I Write, The Secret Lives of Authors" edited by Dan Crowe

I've been reading snippets from How I Write, trying to glean any pearls of wisdom that might lie therein. Some of the offerings do tell us something about how these writers write. I'll briefly summarize some of them.

Jonathan Franzen: he's hoarse at the end of the day from reading his dialogue out loud.

Will Self: puts millions of post-it notes on his walls with random bits of dialogue, scenes, ideas for stories, etc., etc. Then they get organized into notebooks, then into books. Sounds pretty organic, doesn't it?

Benjamin Markovits: relies on a warm cup of tea to keep him occupied while staring at the blank screen.

Tom Robbins: keeps a poster on his wall with two sayings, one by Stanley Elkin reminding him to go as far out, to be as original, as he can be; the second saying is from Nelson Algren that decries, apparently, those who plan out their work (plotter) before doing the writing.

Janine Di Giovanni (a journalist): you have to be there to get the story. You have to take chances.

Eric Chase Anderson: has a cork board on his wall with pictures of famous writers; also, photos of actors he used as models for his characters.

There are many others. I'll share them with you as time goes along.
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