I can never read this book, just like I can never see a movie that I wrote a screenplay for. I can read it and see it physically, but I can’t accurately judge it. I’m too close to it. If I read it ten times I’ll have ten different reactions.
I do small cameos here and there but nothing that requires more than a paragraph of talking, because I’m just an amateur. The movie is a whole different reality.
I don’t need all that much – I just need to know who my characters are and what kind of jam they’re going to get into, and I’ll write myself out of their jam.
I have offices all over the place and I avoid work everywhere. I don’t like to write – I like to be finished.
I started thinking about my relationship with my students; I’m this guy who comes in from book – and movie – land and descends on angel wings into their classroom.
I think the definition of an artist is not necessarily tied into excellence or talent; an artist is somebody who, if you took away their freedom to make art, would lose their mind.
I write because I can’t imagine not writing.
I write because I write – as anyone in the arts does. You’re a painter because you feel you have no choice but to paint. You’re a writer because this is what you do.
I’d love to be a saxophonist. I don’t know why, but I pretend I’m the saxophonist when I listen to music. I have about as much chance playing the sax as I do learning how to fly.
If I can tell you the story from beginning to end in five minutes, I’m ready to start writing. Then it’s a constant spreading out of that five minutes.
If you’re writing a book that takes place in New York in the moment, you can’t not write about 9-11; you can’t not integrate it. My main character’s view is the Statue of Liberty and the Trade Center. It doesn’t have to take over, but it has to be acknowledged.
The kind of event on a conveyor belt that causes a fire occurs in a variety of industrial environments, not uniquely in coal environments.
Writers spend three years rearranging 26 letters of the alphabet. It’s enough to make you lose your mind day by day.
You can’t take a character anywhere they don’t expect the character to go. But within those confines is where creativity lies.