Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

Writers on Writing (Novels)

WK-AR768_COVER__DV_20091105233214The Wall Street Journal compiles that oft-visited subject of writers and their habits. In “How to Write a Great Novel,” top-notch novelists from Edwidge Danticat to one of my favorite writers, Dan Chaon, discuss hours clocked, font size (Ann Rice uses 14-point Courier), and plot points outlined on notecards.

Interesting little highlights:

  • Nicholson Baker writes early, early in the morning (about 4 a.m.) with the lights off, his laptop darkened with light gray text, and, once finished, goes back to bed at 8:30.
  • Kazuo Ishiguro spends two years outlining his novel and one year writing the first draft.

Many writers discuss the painful process of ditching a novel: Margaret Atwood and Amitav Ghosh among them.

The feature article about writers on writing has been done repeatedly, but this WSJ article is notable for its comprehensive compilation of writers.


Filed under: literature, writing, , , , , , , , ,

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About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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