Joyce Carol Oates on creating characters in fiction

Ms. Oates, rambling a bit, reveals that during “the first six weeks” of a writing project she is quite miserable. This is somewhat surprising to me, because I find beginnings exhilarating but bog down in the middles. Maybe she is working out the difficulties earlier on, and that accounts for how prolific she manages to be.

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  1. As strictly a reader, I find such information fascinating.

  2. Oates gave a talk last June on The Grave Digger’s Daughter. She said that novelists have to keep trying, learn from their mistakes, and hope. If you would like to see a write up of her talk, check out TheBayAreaIntellect.