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I do write long, long character notes - family background, history, details of appearance - much more than will ever appear in the novel. I think this is what lifts a book from that early calculated, artificial stage.
I didn't really choose to write; I more or less fell into it.
I consciously try to end my novels at a point where I won't have to wonder about my characters ever again.
I can never tell ahead of time which book will give me trouble - some balk every step of the way, others seem to write themselves - but certainly the mechanics of writing, finding the time and the psychic space, are easier now that my children are grown.
For my own family, I would always choose the makeshift, surrogate family formed by various characters unrelated by blood.
For me, writing something down was the only road out.
Ever consider what pets must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul - chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth!
But what I hope for from a book - either one that I write or one that I read - is transparency. I want the story to shine through. I don't want to think of the writer.
At most I'll spend three or four hours daily, sometimes less.
And I am interested in the fact that class is very much a factor in America, even though it's not supposed to be.
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