Writing a novel: Apparently hard

The Wall Street Journal ran an article about how different authors write. For the sake of brevity (although it's worth the read!) I've summed it up for you:

Nicholson Baker writes in the dark, Orhan Pamuk rewrites a lot, Hilary Mantel writes early, Kazuo Ishiguro researches and then writes, Michael Ondaatje cuts and pastes with scissors, and Richard Powers chats to a computer (which does the writing for him).

Dan Chaon writes on notecards, Margaret Atwood writes on menus, Edwidge Dandicant makes inspiration collages, Junot Diaz writes on the tub (not in it, but on the edge), Amitav Ghosh writes by hand, Russell Banks writes in a sugar shack, Colum McCann manipulates font size, Anne Rice only likes three words per screen, John Wray writes on the train, and Laura Lippman uses yarn and a graph.

Of all of the authors profiled, by favorite by far is Kate Christensen. She writes by playing a lot of solitaire.


  1. I write in 45 min. shifts: 30 min. for writing, 15 min. for internet playing.

  2. You, ma'am, are my type of writer.

    Minus the half an hour of work, our processes are identical.

  3. Is it wrong that, despite your attempts to clarify, I still pictured Junot Diaz writing directly onto the white ceramic of a bathtub, with some sort of water-resistant marker? I clicked through just to confirm that image, and I have to say that I'm a little disappointed.

  4. Oh, Kate and I could be besties. I write by playing a lot of bejeweled.

  5. CKHB--you've hit on my new writing system.

    The difficulty will be mailing agents bathtubs in a bid for representation...