Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Brian Jacques on Writing

It must be nice, being rich and enormously successful. From the Redwall site:
Brian Jacques has adapted his lifestyle for writing adventures which take place in a woodland setting. He only writes in the warm months, beginning in early April. Most of his writing is done outdoors, in the corner of his garden, underneath a lilac bush, next to a dwarf apple tree. He weaves his tales on a dilapidated old mechanical typewriter rescued from a shipping office, set on a plastic patio table, in a little space between the angle of his garden wall. In rainy weather, he puts up the patio umbrella, or takes refuge in a specially constructed conservatory.

He begins the creative process at nine o'clock each morning from Tuesday to Friday (Mondays are reserved for answering fan mail.) by setting up the table and typewriter, bringing out a pot of tea and a plate of sandwiches. "Teddy" his White West Highland Terrier keeps him company, sitting under his chair. He averages twelve pages a day, but can manage as many as twenty-five pages when inspiration hits him. It takes about five months to write a book, and about two years for the publisher to bring it into print.
"Paint. That's the magic word. Paint pictures with words. That's the greatest advice I can give anybody. Paint the pictures with words. The picture will appear in the imagination so the person reading it can say, 'I can see that'."

- Brian Jacques

Speaking of painting words with pictures, I particularly liked these words from the 2005 Bulwer-Lytton Awards:
The night resembled nothing so much as the nose of a giant Labrador in excellent health: cold, black, and wet.

- Devery Doleman

But the best one has to be Kari Stiller's winning entry in the "Detective" category. Finding it is left as a challenge to you. Have fun!