Saturday, April 23, 2011

Why He Writes

Publishers Weekly has a nifty feature: "Why I Write..." which is written each issue by a different writer. They're short pieces, not even a full page. In the April 11, 2011 issue, which features articles on SFF. Harry Turtledove explained why he writes, which is basically that he can't not write. And he said this, too:
"Very often, when I'm working, I'm interested in finding out what happens next, because sometimes I don't know in advance. I'm not a writer who plans everything out before it goes down on paper. I usually know in broad terms where I'm going, but not how I'll get there. And getting there, as in so many things, is much of the fun."
He says other cool stuff, too, about wanting to entertain and about the joys of research, but this is what really resonated with me. I don't usually have the broad idea of where I'm going, at least, not until I've written 1/3 to 1/2 of the story and can see things starting to gel and unfold. And when I read things like this from successful writers, I want to take it and rub it into the faces of the people I interacted with on AOL's old Writers Club message boards, those people who insisted outlining in advance was the "right" way to do it.


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