“ I wish I had a formula, I wish I had a way of proceeding that would be kind of, you know, this is what Chapter One is always like, and this is what Chapter Two is always like. But it isn’t. I just have to plunge into it. And it’s usually the one . . . that the voice of sanity and reason is telling me not to write. It’s usually that one that I end up writing.”
In this interview recorded for bigthink.com, 74-year-old Booker Prize-winning author Margaret Atwood explains her creative process.
The film adaptation of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars opened in cinemas on 6 June and took less than three weeks to make over $100,000,000 in North America alone. Green’s novel also currently holds the number one spot on many bestseller lists around the world, and yet writing YA tear jerkers is just one of the 36-year-old’s many talents. John Green is also an extremely popular video blogger. Vlogbrothers, the Youtube channel he created with his brother Hank, has over two million subscribers and covers topics ranging from How to Make Cinnamon Toast to Understanding Ukraine: The Problems Today and Some Historical Context.
Green is also the host of the Mental Floss Youtube channel. In this episode he guides viewers through some of the most common spelling and grammar errors including ‘Who vs. Whom’, ‘Lose vs. Loose’ and ‘Elicit vs. Illicit’.
“All writing, all art is just a wild leap off a cliff because there’s nothing to support you. You’re creating something out of nothing, really. No one’s telling you to do it. It comes from within, and it’s a very mysterious process, at least for me. I still don’t understand how I write a story or a book. I don’t understand how it happens. I mean, I know it takes time, I know it takes effort, I know it takes lots and lots of drafts and hours, but I still really don’t understand the internal mechanism of how it really happens.”
Jhumpa Lahiri is a Pulitzer Prize-winning short story writer and novelist. Her work first appeared in The New Yorker in 1998. In the following short film produced by the iconic literary magazine, Lahiri discusses her creative process and the gratification she felt when readers around the world first responded so positively to her work.
George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series has sold over 25 million copies in North America alone. With each volume weighing in at close to a thousand pages or more, writing each instalment is quite a time consuming process. On Conan O’Brien’s late-night talk show last month, Martin shared why, despite his phenomenal success (or perhaps because of it), he still uses a computer from the 1980s.
In 2014 iconic animated series South Park turns 17 years old. Since debuting in August 1997, over 240 episodes have gone to air and the show has won five Primetime Emmy Awards. In 2013, the Writers Guild of America included South Park in its 101 Best-Written Shows Ever.
With its highly controversial story lines, South Park may have as many enemies as it does fans, but its creators and writers Trey Parker and Matt Stone clearly know how to create a storyline that grabs an audience’s attention.