05 June 2009

I'm not exactly objective, but I thought this AV Club interview with authors Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida was particularly insightful in terms of how they work. Sometimes I wish I could do all my writing after midnight; the air is clearer then.

I guess it's natural to be curious about how writers write their books and when they do. It isn't really fair to take that genesis into consideration when you think about the finished product, but I love a good story. On the one hand, you have your superstar who wrote the entire thing in grad school, and on the other hand -- you have Millard Kaufman, a screenwriter during the Hollywood blacklist days who started his first novel at 86 and finished at 90. (Not that people in grad school are necessarily excluded from having good stories.) Or Beverly Cleary, whose second autobiography MY OWN TWO FEET I just discovered, who surrounded herself with books for years but who finally began after moving into a house where she found a ream of paper in a closet, and worked on what became HENRY HUGGINS every night after her job as a librarian.

Maybe that's one of the reasons I still read blog-to-book adaptations even though they are frequently disappointing -- if you're familiar with the blog already, then you've had a front seat to that process. It's like peeking over your doctor's shoulder and seeing he's writing poems on his prescription pad (for the doctors who still have them, I guess).

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