Friday, April 13, 2007

Literary Encounter: Jonathan Lethem

Mr. Lethem (pronounced Lee-thum) dropped by Skylight for his new novel "You Don't Love Me Yet." He was talking to the audience about what it's like writing a novel, comparing it to a "sucking chest wound." He said no matter how much you can plan out a novel, it always turns out into something else. You sort of end up writing as "structured improvisation."

I told him how my agent wants me to write a book a year. He was not dismayed. He said that that's not a bad way to start. For him, he had several unpublished novels already before getting published. So, when his publisher wanted a book from him, he easily gave them one.

1 comment:

Sundry said...

Those comments about the novel not being what you planned it to be are so helpful to me right now. I thought my whole problem with writing so slowly was that I didn't have a plan. Now I have a first draft and an outline, and the damn thing keeps bucking and twisting underneath me. Hey! Behave! --not quite the Novel Whisperer yet...but willing to learn!