Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Why was Patriots written?

Q: Why was Patriots written?

A: The reflex response that comes to mind is 'why not?'. But serious writing is a resource-draining affair, and some books are more challenging to write than others. With that in mind it's a legitimate line of questioning: Why did you write this particular book? What's its purpose, what did you hope to accomplish? (and so on)

Probably any writer writes partly to get paid, partly for prestige, and partly for his own enjoyment. The percentages of each motivation vary.

Sometimes a writer also writes because (s)he has something to say. (Mind you, every writer thinks they have something to say, but I assure you that’s not true. Or at least I can assure you that whatever it is, is often better left unsaid.) I admit that my motivation was that I had something to say, but the other motives come into play as well. And since it makes no difference if I say something and no one’s listening, it behooves me to spread the word and pitch as many copies of Patriots as possible.

Funny about the word ‘behoove’. It goes way back to the 12th century, and it sounds its age. But somehow, we just keep using it. We can’t seem to replace it. Instead, strangely enough, we’re finding new meanings for it.

Q: What are you trying to say, then?
A: That’s another funny thing. You spend about half the book or more learning what it really is that you have to say. You may have had an idea when you started out, but it can get pretty turned around by the time you’re through. The writing teaches the writer.

Q: But you still haven’t told me what you’re trying to say!

A: That’s because what the book has to say is largely up to you, the reader. That’s just the nature of the beast, my friend. I didn’t make the rules.

from F.A.Q.

No comments:

Post a Comment