Sunday, April 27, 2014

Straining your ears for the response

Tim Adams interviews Hilary Mantel for the Observer Review:
I always write in terms of scenes, and for a big scene in one of the Cromwell novels I will prepare for several days by going through all my notes and all my sources before diving into the writing. At that moment where I commit to the writing it is exactly like walking on stage. All your senses are alive and it is as if you are straining your ears for the sound of a response.
Another bit caught my attention too, in response to a question about the huge success of these books: "I never expected it but it gives me great pleasure though, because I saw it as a continuation of what I had been doing. Right from the first page, the first paragraph, it was like: "Ah! Now you see everything you have done was aiming at this!" I think this project is the thing I could have done that nobody else could have done, if that doesn't sound boastful." I am overdue a post about writing, only I am (a) waiting till frenzy of school year is over and (b) full of trepidation about airing thoughts and plans, as there does tend to be a dynamic in which one speaks about a future project and then loses interest in actually executing it! Definitely some thoughts on writing soon, though - I have been writing very little this year (other than tens of thousands of words of these reports for the tenure review advisory committee!), and it has actually been very helpful in terms of letting the desire and the ideas well up in me and want to burst out in a sustained stint of effort over the summer.

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