Tuesday, November 17, 2009

WSJ: "How To Write A Great Novel"

The Wall Street Journal (in a surprising offer of free online content) did some great mini-profiles of authors and wrapped them up in a feature titled, "How To Write A Great Novel." It's fascinating to see how different people have such eclectic and wide-ranging approaches and processes to writing.

For instance, Edwidge Danticat (Breath, Eyes, Memory) uses storyboarding and collaging to build her plot maps. John Wray (Right Hand of Sleep, Lowboy) spends hours riding the NYC subway with his laptop. Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient) uses scissors and tape to actually cut and paste his drafts.

My favorite blurb came from Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day, When We Were Orphans): in talking about failed projects, he recounted this one:
"I showed my wife a segment that I had honed down and she said, 'This is awful. You have to figure out how they speak to each other. They're speaking in a moron language.'"

No comments: