The 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.