Question Time 2014: Answers Part III

Jeff asks:

Nerd question about process 🙂 I’m assuming there are lots of fancy tools out there now for plotting and assembling novels. Would you say you take a high-tech approach to writing your novels or are you now secretly hacking away at that 1/4 million dollar Olivetti Cormac McCarthy sold at auction? There may be some options in the middle I hadn’t considered 🙂

Jeff, I am not “hacking” at Mr. McCarthy’s $250,000 typewriter. Nice pun there, by the way. I am prying off the keys and selling them online, one by one. I know, you’re shocked. But I told him what would happen if he didn’t send me his new manuscript. He had his chance. The metallic screeching of the Olivetti as I twist each key loose with pliers — that’s on his head.

As for how I compose my own work: After pouring goat’s blood in a pentagram on the patio, and completing the chant, I sit back with a glass of lemonade until the smoke clears and the plot outline appears along the cracks in the concrete. Voila!

But when it’s time to actually think and write, I use a variety of tools: Number 2 pencils, Rollerball Fine Point pens, A4 typing paper, A MacBook Pro, and MS Word. For plotting and assembling novels, I employ The Elements of Style, my notes from Robert McKee’s Story Seminar, dogeared copies of Stephen King’s On Writing and Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, the pounding headache I still have after getting my mind blown reading Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, and the love — and craft — of writing I’ve inhaled from reading books since I was six years old.

Hope that clears things up.

One response to “Question Time 2014: Answers Part III

  1. Re: the goat’s blood… pretty much what I figured 🙂 “On Writing” was simply amazing. Now I’ll have to go back and read it again. Thanks so much for your response!!

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