Category Archives: writing

Oliver Sacks Working at His Desk

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Oliver Sacks working at his desk, 2015. Photo by Bill Hayes.

(Via.)

Nat Hentoff at Work

Nat Hentoff at work in The Pleasures of Being Out of Step: Notes on the Life of Nat Hentoff (2013).

nathentoff

Trailer:

Research

“I don’t do any research. Your entire life is research.”

—Lee Child in Reacher Said Nothing: Lee Child and the Making of Make Me

A Writer’s Room: Leonardo Padura Fuentes

Cuban writer Leonardo Padura Fuentes’s workspace as seen on season 6, episode 1 of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. (Click on the images for bigger versions.)

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Previously.

Writer’s Block

(Via Slate.)

Just Start and Don’t Give Up

“Just start at page one and write like a son of a bitch. Be totally familiar with the entirety of the Western literary tradition, and if you have any extra time, throw in the Eastern. Because how can you write well unless you know what passes for the best in the last three or four hundred years? And don’t neglect music. I suspect that music can contribute to it as much as anything else. Tend to keep distant from religious, political, and social obligations. And I would think that you shouldn’t give up until it’s plainly and totally impossible.”

Jim Harrison

Outline First

“I’m determined to think through the book from beginning to end before I start it. First I make a very short outline, just a page or two. Then I start filling it in with transitional sentences and key thoughts. You’re really writing the book without the details at that stage. Then what I do is I go through the notes and fill in the details. Let’s say I have a hundred and fifty pages of notes dealing with a particular incident—but of course I don’t; I have nearly a thousand. Anyway, you give a number to each interview. You go through all your file folders, and you index everything in it to that outline. And the outline keeps growing until you’ve got the entire book—an entire wall, twenty or thirty feet long, covered with paper. There it is. And then you come in one day, and you look at it, and you have to start writing.”

Robert Caro