2008-07-04

Reading and writing

Reading: Digital suspenseDigital Fortress is the book I’m currently reading. It’s challenging: I sometimes just can’t stop before reading the next chapter. There are many people and many plots happening at the same time, all of them connected to the main plot, although the reader does not know what kind of involvement each character truly has. So each chapter talks about one of these characters, and if we want to find out the next step, we have to wait (read) until that character’s plot is mentioned again. Besides, for lovers of the computers’ world like me, everything seems to make sense and stimulate our imagination. Stimulating our imagination, according to readers, is one of the things that makes a good book.Writing: StubbornnessOn the other hand, what makes a writer a good writer, so as to write a good book? Patrick Neate ’s testimonial, that I’ve randomly found at Google, contains an answer:I think lots of people tell me they want to write novels, but they don’t actually have the stubbornness, you know bloody-mindedness to actually make it happen. Sometimes it’s very difficult to be creative. I have days, weeks of really, really struggling and just sort of sitting in front of a computer, drinking far too much coffee, buying things on eBay, but it comes back in the end and if you keep pushing it I think it will come. And the more you practise the easier it gets. So I think there’s an idea about the creative process that it’s somehow freeform, whereas I think you only get that freedom by being very disciplined. So I work very hard. I have rules for myself - I make sure I’m at my desk at nine, I work through to lunch, I do my eight-hour day like I would if I was in an office. The truth is there’s no right or wrong way to do it, so you need to practice until you’ve found a voice or sound with which you’re totally confident.

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