On writing The Innamorati:

  • "I am both in love and hate with my novel. One day deliriously happy that it is all going to work out after all . . . and the next day ready to pitch it into the lake . . . not because it’s bad, but because I am exhausted with its demands. (We are getting to the 'I want a divorce' stage of the writing, the 'I love you, but I can't live with you anymore' drama.)

    "But it is getting there. And it does amaze me that the story will find a way through a plethora of ideas. I think of the story as a self-determining spirit, stubborn and insistent. I have been at impasses where the story refused my attempts because it knew better than I that I was going astray. I often do what Keith Johnson talks about in his book Impro, walking backward through the story to find the first threads that my subconscious laid down. I am always amazed at how the answer for where to go next is usually in the past, not in the foretold future of the plot. . . .

    "The interesting thing about writing is that it has an almost oxymoronic life—when we write we are locked in the 'present' moment of the book, yet the whole thing is a process that takes place over time. Our current experiences keep threading in emotional details to the work and the novel keeps ordering them out of their chaos into the form of the work. By the time the novel is done, there is, for me anyway, the strange sense of having 'packaged; my emotional experiences (or maybe 'synthesized' is a better word) in the body of the novel. It becomes like one's own snakeskin, shed in the process of growing."

    -- from Into the Labyrinth