Furst on Writing

“Research. Once upon a time I toyed with the idea of a career in
academia, as a medievalist. But academia toyed with me, and I gave
up on the middle ages, because I didn’t think of myself as somebody
who would spend his life doing research. I leave the moral of the
story to you, but eventually I became addicted, and I now see it as
a vocational privilege.

“Still, there is something to be said for the 300-page
interior monologue in italics – at least you won’t get letters
informing you that the British Beaufighter aircraft was not in
service until the end of October. It’s hard to avoid that sort
of thing in 350 pages of manuscript, even with good editing and
copy editing.

“I think it was Randall Jarrell who once defined the
novel as a work in prose of a certain length that has something
wrong with it.

Quoted from Alan Furst, author of Blood of Victory , about writing historical fiction.

Neal Stephenson – Brilliant

Neal Stephenson talking at the Boulder Book St...
Neal Stephenson talking at the Boulder Book Store at his signing of Anathem. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mother Jones: You’ve tried various types of storytelling, from video games to interactive iPad novels. Why do you keep coming back to print?

Neal Stephanson: At the end of the day, I can just sit down and write a novel. I know how to do it, I know how to get it published. I don’t have to raise money and I don’t have to hire people. I don’t have to put together a spreadsheet explaining the revenue model. There are so many things, so many tasks like that that simply disappear when I just want to write a book. I’m interested in the problem of finding new ways to create media, but at the end of the day, if things aren’t coming together, I can always just say, “F*** it,” throw up my hands, go into my office, and write.