A little over a year ago today I blogged about questions and outlining. How ironic.
Great fiction, from my point of view, happens when beautiful lies smash up against essential truths. Something, I suppose, every author strives to achieve—though everyone has a different method of getting into the mindset that allows that kind of discovery. My guess is that most authors and artists are stable people with somewhat neurotic tendencies—so that whatever system slides us into our creative groove demonstrates a certain degree of controlling and obsessive behavior (whether it’s perfect silence, certain kinds of music, hours of the day…or in my case, pajamas or a coffee house, usually Starbucks).
You can read the rest here, but basically I declare that I’m going to try and outline. I can’t remember what book I was working on then, but I’m pretty certain the same thing happened with that one that’s happening with this current novel: good intentions, man. Good intentions that may have helped a little, but were eventually dumped at the roadside. I play by ear.
Here, though, is some excellent writing advice, courtesy of Duane Swierczynski’s great blog. I really liked this quote from Howard Browne:
“I always started a novel with one thing in mind: present the interesting characters facing an interesting situation, and then take the next logical step. At the end of the process you’ll have a novel. I never made a false start on a novel, and I never had writer’s block… that I can remember!”
And finally this interview with Maurice Sendak (author of Where the Wild Things Are), Spike Jonze (director of the film) and Dave Eggers (screenwriter). Many thanks to Renee Sweet for sending it to me.