Saturday, April 05, 2008

Picoult and Hill: Mistresses of Unease

Writing is not about being inspired, waiting for the muse to strike. You can always edit something bad. You can't edit something blank. I'm always writing, even when I'm not at my desk. I write on my hands. I used to write on my kids' hands, too, but they don't let me any more. When I'm driving I sometimes write all the way up my arms.
Words of writerly wisdom from American author Jodi Picoult, who is interviewed in the Telegraph.

Helena de Bertodano notes that :
Although she writes commercial fiction, her novels are not schmaltzy or comfortable reading. She writes about families in the midst of huge crises and has a knack of landing on hot-button topics: teenage suicide, child abuse, stem-cell research, date rape. .... Her novels often excite controversy.
British author Susan Hill :
... writes mysterious books, in which there is often something uneasy-making ...
says Nicolette Jones in the Independent. But finds Hill's new children's novel, The Battle for Gullywith:
... more magical dream than scary nightmare ...
The once prolific Hill is once more on a creative roll it seems, producing four books in thirteen months. (And not only that, she has an extremely good blog about writing.)

7 comments:

dreamer idiot said...

Thanks for sharing this bit. I really need to get myself into a writing habit, and perhaps to enjoy it as a process. Writing is something I somehow dread, though on the rare occasion when I do write up something decent, I find myself happy.

bibliobibuli said...

there are very many reasons to write and wanting to be published is one of them. you need to lower the stakes for yourself - write first for your own pleasure and fun and only when you're ready for other people. i'd say do my course, if you weren't so otherwise busy!

dreamer idiot said...

Yea, would love to, but like you said, time. Must learn to enjoy writing for myself first, as you said. :)

James Abela said...

I wholeheartedly agree, its much, much easier to edit than to create! Jodi's really hit the nail on the head...One further thought, if you just write 100 words per day, within a year you would have a novel...

James

James Abela said...

I also noticed that you are much kinder to Jodi when selecting her photo! (Her photo in the Telegraph is terrible.)

James

aliqot said...

Good to see Jodi Picoult appearing here - I find her writing interesting, especially the way she undermines your expectations of characters. Defintiely no black and white, good v evil. It;s inside you not behind you.

As for the comment about writing every day. Reminds me of Stephen King's comment that the Muse will only turn up if he knows you'll be there writing.

bibliobibuli said...

james - yes, her picture in the paper did her no favours at all - it was not even a well-composed shot. she's got lovely hair though.

aliqot - stephen king is right and that's a great quote.

might try a jodi picoult novel some time soon and see.