Saturday, February 11, 2017

Still working.



Writing a book takes me a long time. There are ALWAYS times when it feels too hard, too unimportant, too lonely. My process seems to be: take a few steps in the dark, fall, lie there, eventually get up, take a few more steps. Slowly, the landscape of the story becomes easier to see, almost knowable. There is a feeling of recognition that creeps in - scenes and notes are coalescing into . . . something.

I once took a writing workshop with Dani Shapiro where she said that, often, we just have to allow structure to emerge from the fog. I have mostly found that there's no other way.

In other news, I may soon have OTHER NEWS.

Happy New Year.

(And yes, I know it's February.)




8 comments:

Susan Stern said...

So interesting to read about your process and so intriguing to see the hint of other news. Hope you'll share that soon, and that you will have a happy and productive New Year.

Susan Stern

Ariel said...

It's so encouraging to read about your writing process! I write middle grade contemporaries myself, so your books have inspired me a lot.

Ariel

Larry said...

I was quite taken with this post, and so I read it aloud today at the faculty lunch table where I work. Your description of your process was met with much laughter. The consensus opinion was that "Take a few steps in the dark, fall, lie there, eventually get up" was an all-too-familiar process to all!
I am glad to read the sentence "Writing a book takes me a long time." I am honestly grateful for every hour you spend agonizing over the emerging structure. Your process hasn't let you down yet! Four magnificent novels! I wait patiently, money in hand, for when you complete this latest effort. Warm regards!

Rebecca Stead said...

Many thanks, you guys! The encouragement is mutual.
I don't know what I would do without our far-flung, often-quiet-but-not-invisible writing community.

Bookaholic said...

Just a random reader here, but agh I am so excited!!! I've read all of the books you've written, I own two, and every single one has changed me for the better. The way you write just mesmerizes me and I can't help but fall into the story and into the world. Especially Liar and Spy. Just about combusted reading that one. I absolutely adore your books and will be sitting here, trying to patiently wait for the next one. And if this one is even half as good as the others, I know it will be practically perfect in every possible way. Good luck!

Rebecca Stead said...


Thanks very much, Bookaholic! Your words made my day.

Kierra said...

I loved liar and spy!
ITS THE BEST BOOK IVE EVER READ!!!!!!!🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂

Susan Stern said...

I see you enjoyed So Long, See You Tomorrow (among so much else) and have to add my own three cheers. William Maxwell is a favorite of mine and tops my favorite list. We recently read So Long for a book group I belong to-- it was a re-reading for me, and I found it more moving than ever. Do you know his letters? There are three collections, each one wonderful. I'm sure they are of special interest to anyone who writes, but all three should delight just about anyone. The last, a correspondence with Eudora Welty, is for me the best of all.