Anne Rice: The Writing Process [Part 5]

Anne Rice – The Writing Process [Part 5]

But, what is her writing process? Does she plan out her stories or let the characters take her where they will? The “Anne Rice Examiner” decided to ask the author these questions and more. Her answers, as always, are honest, insightful and provide the reader and fledgling writer with a treasure trove of useful information and a greater sense of Anne Rice, the writer.

And now, Anne Rice:

5 – In a recent post, you said that the copy-editing process can be the most creative, yet challenging, part of the process; why?

anne_riceWhen I send the manuscript to NY, I’m finished with it, having done my best. The copy editor there goes over it for spelling, punctuation, inconsistencies, dropped words, any “problem” in the text. But my good copy editors never “re-write.” They don’t strike out phrases or rearrange sentences or try to creatively “correct” my style or teach me how to do it. Again, they correct mistakes only, and then return the manuscript to me. I go over it word by word and not only approve or reject their corrections, but find all kinds of things to change on my own, phrases I want to perfect, sentences to strike out, inconsistencies that no one else perhaps can notice. It can be grueling. But it’s always a wonderful opportunity to enhance, to add, to refine. —– You’re looking for errors, but you’re also seeing your prose after a time of rest and thought, and you’re seeing things you might have missed earlier. There have been times when I added whole paragraphs and pages to the copy edited manuscript. Other times, no — simply small things. Then when the galleys come — the first print run with all your copy edits —- you can go through this all again. It’s your last real chance to add something here or there, or refine, or cut, etc.

Remembrance: Marcel Proust – Part 7

Remembrance: Marcel Proust

Moments from
“Remembrance of Things Past”

Marcel-Proust

Part 7

“Thanks to art,
instead of seeing one world only,
our own,
we see that world multiply itself
and we have at our disposal
as many worlds
as there are original artists,
worlds more different
one from the other
than those which revolve
in infinite space,
worlds which,
centuries after the extinction
of the fire
from which their light
first emanated,
whether it is called
Rembrandt or Vermeer,
send us still each one
its special radiance.”
― Marcel Proust

Marcel_Proust_(Père_Lachaise) side by side hotel - grave

Anne Rice: The Writing Process [Part 4]

Anne Rice – The Writing Process [Part 4]

But, what is her writing process? Does she plan out her stories or let the characters take her where they will? The “Anne Rice Examiner” decided to ask the author these questions and more. Her answers, as always, are honest, insightful and provide the reader and fledgling writer with a treasure trove of useful information and a greater sense of Anne Rice, the writer.

And now, Anne Rice:

4 – What time during the day do you find you’re most creative?

anne_riceI’m definitely more creative as the day goes on —– late morning or early afternoon are best for getting started. Late afternoon is good and early evening. I no longer write all night simply because I physically can’t take the hangover in the morning. But the night has been a great time for me to write in years past. I wrote “Interview with the Vampire” entirely at night, often not even starting till 1 a.m. And I wrote both the “Christ the Lord” novels entirely at night because I had to have perfect peace to do them, to be in Galilee in my imagination — away from all distractions. —— I’m not a morning person, not at all. I have to warm up with the day. I have to warm up with coffee and food. I guess the absolute optimum time for me now is afternoon and early evening. —– I would write at night again I suppose if I didn’t have obligations in the day, phone calls that have to be answered, routine doctor visits, social commitments, that kind of thing. When you get totally off schedule with the world, people around you don’t like it. They hate it. And that’s what happens when I do all night writing.

“…then you are a writer”

book of magical images growing

“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.” ― Ernest Hemingway

Anne Rice: The Writing Process [Part 3]

Anne Rice – The Writing Process [Part 3]

But, what is her writing process? Does she plan out her stories or let the characters take her where they will? The “Anne Rice Examiner” decided to ask the author these questions and more. Her answers, as always, are honest, insightful and provide the reader and fledgling writer with a treasure trove of useful information and a greater sense of Anne Rice, the writer.

And now, Anne Rice:

3 – Is there a particular manuscript program you prefer using?

anne_riceI use MS Word. For years, I used a marvelous program called WordStar, and as WordStar gradually became obsolete I did everything in my power to keep using it, keep adapting it to new equipment. Finally, I just gave up. WordStar is now gone from the world, I think. And adjusting to MS Word was a nightmare. WordStar was a marvelously efficient menu driven program with perfect logic, and perfectly clear commands. (It was actually designed I think for skilled female secretaries) MS Word was a nightmare by comparison, made perhaps for students and men who liked to “play” with a mouse.” Learning it was like learning something thrown together by maniacs. But eventually I did learn it thoroughly and how to adapt it for my purposes, shutting off its “outlining” and other dizzying and distracting features and getting it down to just what I wanted for the writing of a novel. —– Of course computers today with MS Word have immense power compared to the old computers on which I used WordStar. I work with one huge “document” or “file” for my novel, and I “save” reflexively all the time, and email the file to myself over and over during the day, so I’ve never lost a novel or even a chapter into cyberspace. You don’t have to exit Word to email. You do it from within the program. Emailing your work to yourself is one of the safest ways to save. You can open your emails with their attachments anywhere in the world, and have your “document” or novel there. But I don’t really work away from my desk in Palm Desert. Can’t. Have to be in my room, at Command Central here, on my Logitech keyboard with my powerful Mac, and my three monitors. Not only do they allow me to display character lists and such as I write, they keep out all distractions. I do have the same set up in my LA apartment, but I’ve never actually written there. The one place away from home where I did write in years past was my condo in Florida. I had the same office set up there and I blazed away in that glorious Florida light and warmth, with the Gulf sparkling beyond the glass wall. I wrote “Blackwood Farm” in Florida and also a lot of other novels.

Anne Rice: The Writing Process [Part 2]

Anne Rice – The Writing Process [Part 2]

But, what is her writing process? Does she plan out her stories or let the characters take her where they will? The “Anne Rice Examiner” decided to ask the author these questions and more. Her answers, as always, are honest, insightful and provide the reader and fledgling writer with a treasure trove of useful information and a greater sense of Anne Rice, the writer.

And now, Anne Rice:

2 – Do you edit your work daily or chapter by chapter or just wait till the end?

anne_riceI always edit as I go along. I never wait until the end. I revise daily. Hemingway said that before he began writing new material, he copied over all he had done the day before. I don’t really do that, but I often go back over what I did the day before, deepening, expanding, exploring, giving the prose the benefit of what I’ve thought of overnight. But I never create a tentative draft. I work in fair copy and final draft always —- again moving back and forth, back and forth — until I reach that last line. —— I don’t know any other way to work. I can’t move on to the next paragraph, or page or chapter until I feel that what I’ve done is ready to go out that night to the great printing press in New York. It’s a method.

Anne Rice: The Writing Process [Part 1]

Anne Rice – The Writing Process [Part 1]

But, what is her writing process? Does she plan out her stories or let the characters take her where they will? The “Anne Rice Examiner” decided to ask the author these questions and more. Her answers, as always, are honest, insightful and provide the reader and fledgling writer with a treasure trove of useful information and a greater sense of Anne Rice, the writer.

And now, Anne Rice:

1 – Do you plot out or story board your ideas for a book before you begin or just let the characters take you where they will and correct plot issues later?

anne_riceI have never had any one hard and fast method. No storyboard, no. But I do think a lot before “plunging,” and do work out a crude road map of sorts, but I revise constantly, moving back and forth in the growing draft as I work, and sometimes throw out great chunks of material and start over when I feel I should. But I have written whole books with no real plan —- just a concept or a character —- at the beginning. —- There’s just no hard and fast rule at all. Whatever works, whatever causes the prose to flow, the characters to begin talking and walking, whatever makes a world slowly form all around the characters.