Friday, July 16, 2010

Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr's new book, his fourth, is Memory Wall. His other books are The Shell Collector, About Grace, and Four Seasons in Rome.

From his Q & A with Writers on Process:

Talk about your invention process. What do you do to come up with ideas? What about your revision process?

Practically, writing doesn’t really break out for me in terms of invention, composition, and revision. I often sit down with only the ghost of an idea, a few things I’m interested in, and from that point I am always revising, eternally revising. I suppose once I’ve finished something there must be a first draft in there, engraved invisibly beneath all the revisions, but really the first draft is just a single sentence I’ve written down and immediately begun altering. Before adding a second sentence, I’m already revising the first one.

Do you have a regular routine? As a professional writer, do you set goals each day for how much you are going to write?

Yep: when I’m working on fiction, I try to write in the mornings, when my brain is fairly clean and untrammeled by all the email and news of the day. Get up with the kids, set them up with a waffle or something, then tag out with my wife and start working. My brain is too tired in the evenings.

And I only drink caffeine when I’m working; I try to save its power, because it is an incredibly useful drug. I try to get into some caffeine, read through everything I’ve written so far on a project, if that’s possible, and then start trying to make it fuller, better, richer, etc...

Are there any quirky parts of your writing process that help you write?

I wear a pair of chainsaw ear protection muffs when I write. Is...[read on]
Visit the author's website.

The Page 69 Test: Anthony Doerr's Four Seasons in Rome.

--Marshal Zeringue