A few remarks on writing

I went to hear John Green give a reading at Butler University the other day. He read from his forthcoming book, The Fault of Our Stars and then did the obligatory author thing of answering questions before signing books.

One of the things that Green said about writing I find to be true: that at its core, writing is an emphatic act. Not only do you need to figure out how to be another person (your character) so that you can write about them, but also, as is the writer’s purpose in telling a story, to “bring a story to life in someone else’s mind”, which requires empathy as well*.

The other thing that Green said that I liked was that he said that starting a new novel must be like what it feels like to be on the last uncharted piece of land in the universe.

And, with those thoughts, back to my NaNoWriMo novel…..

* I’m pretty sure that I got that quote recorded verbatim. If not, I’m sure I captured the gist of it.


2 responses to “A few remarks on writing

  1. “Writing is an emphatic act.” That is so true. Not only that, it extends to the reader too. And to continue with the thought, I think if an author can write in a way to transfer that empathy to the reader, leads the reader to feel for the character, not necessarily identify, but to empathize, then the author will have achieved a successful act. And for the reader, that’s the joy of reading. Thanks for this thought-provoking post, Anne!