It seems to me that since I've had children, I've grown richer and deeper. They may have slowed down my writing for a while, but when I did write, I had more of a self to speak from.
If I waited till I felt like writing, I'd never write at all.
Reading any piece of writing aloud is an acid test, particularly when it comes to dialogue. There were writers I'd always admired who suddenly rang false when I spoke their words in our living room.
The one ironclad rule is that I have to try. I have to walk into my writing room and pick up my pen every weekday morning
I was standing in the schoolyard waiting for a child when another mother came up to me. Have you found work yet? she asked. Or are you still just writing?
My family can always tell when I'm well into a novel because the meals get very crummy.
I can never tell ahead of time which book will give me trouble - some balk every step of the way, others seem to write themselves - but certainly the mechanics of writing, finding the time and the psychic space, are easier now that my children are grown.
But what I hope for from a book - either one that I write or one that I read - is transparency. I want the story to shine through. I don't want to think of the writer.
I'm too shy for personal appearances, and I've found out that anytime I talk about my writing, I can't do any writing for many weeks afterward.
I write because I want more than one life; I insist on a wider selection. It's greed, plain and simple.
I don't type [when I write] because . . . I often have the feeling that everything flows directly from my right hand.
Once your mind is caught on the right snag, there's nothing so hard about the mechanics of writing.
I write because I want more than one life; I insist on a wider selection. It’s greed, plain and simple. When my characters join the circus, I’m joining the circus. Although I’m happily married, I spent a great deal of time mentally living with incompatible husbands.
There's surprisingly little difference between writing from a male angle and from a female angle, but I feel more restricted in my language when I'm writing as a male character because males tend to sound less emotionally expressive than females.
I do write long, long character notes - family background, history, details of appearance - much more than will ever appear in the novel. I think this is what lifts a book from that early calculated, artificial stage.
I write because I want to have more than one life.
I would advise any beginning writer to write the first drafts as if no one else will ever read them - without a thought about publication - and only in the last draft to consider how the work will look from the outside.
I never think about the actual process of writing. I suppose I have a superstition about examining it too closely.
For me, writing something down was the only road out...I hated childhood, and spent it sitting behind a book waiting for adulthood to arrive. When I ran out of books I made up my own. At night, when I couldn't sleep, I made up stories in the dark.
I'll write maybe one long paragraph describing the events, then a page or two breaking the events into chapters, and then reams of pages delving into my characters. After that, I'm ready to begin
The hardest novel to write was Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant.
I forget a book as soon as I finish writing it, which is not always a good thing
My writing day has grown shorter as I've aged, although it seems to produce the same number of pages.
Mostly it's lies, writing novels. You set out to tell an untrue story and you try to make it believable, even to yourself. Which calls for details; any good lie does.
It's true that writing is a solitary occupation, but you would be surprised at how much companionship a group of imaginary characters can offer once you get to know them.
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