Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Hilary Mantel

Watched the interview with Hilary Mantel on Saturday evening.  I have heard her speak before but not at such length.  What interested me most was seeing how she works.  Not so much where she gets her ideas from, but how she goes about dealing with them.  The mechanics of writing I suppose.

I've always had an interest in how things are organised.  Don't get bored waiting in queues because I'm always looking round me.  If not at the people and wondering about their lives, it's the way people are working that fascinates me.

When I was a little girl going to the library, of course I loved choosing the books, but I was mesmerised by the stamping out process and all those small brown cards to prove who had which book.  So wanting to know how writers work is part of my whole outlook on life.

The more writers I listen to the more relief I get.  Because there isn't a right or wrong way.  It's not like if you don't do all your research up front you can't write.  But if the story takes off in a direction you hadn't considered, what then?

One of the business writers I follow sent out his latest newsletter which contained a whole article about 'What if'  and how it could transform the selling process via a letter.  It's no different writing fiction is it?  It's all about thinking the unthinkable about choices a character might make. 

What if they did something as simple as going down a different street on their way to work? 

Wonderful.  Endless possibilities.

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