I never think that anything I'm..
I never think that anything I'm writing is bluntly political in any way. I'm not going for commentary.
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I am truly at my happiest not when I am writing an aria for an actor or making a grand political or social point. I am at my happiest when I've figured out a fun way for somebody to slip on a banana peel.
The rules are all in a sixty-four-page pamphlet by Aristotle called 'Poetics.' It was written almost three thousand years ago, but I promise you, if something is wrong with what you're writing, you've probably broken one of Aristotle's rules.
I can't complain that I've had a public all through my writing life, but people don't quite know what I've written. People don't read you too closely. Perhaps, after I've died, they'll look at my stuff, and read it through, and find there's more in it. That may be wrong, but that's what I comfort myself with.
I'm more comfortable writing traditional protagonists. But 'Steve Jobs' and 'The Social Network' have antiheroes. I like to write antiheroes as if they're making their case to God about why they should be allowed into heaven. I have to find something in that character that is like me and write to that.
I've never written anything that I haven't wanted to write again. I want to, and still am, writing 'A Few Good Men' again. I didn't know what I was doing then, and I'm still trying to get it right. I would write 'The Social Network' again if they would let me, I'd write 'Moneyball' again. I would write 'The West Wing' again.
Sometimes, particularly in summers in New York, I have tried to write in shorts or with no shirt on and found myself unable to do so, the reason being, I take it, that writing, even of the most impersonal sort, is for me a divestment, a striptease, even, so that if I start off undressed, I have nowhere to go.
I'm very physical. When I'm writing, I'm playing all the parts; I'm saying the lines out loud, and if I get excited about something - which doesn't happen very often when I'm writing, but it's the greatest feeling when it does - I'll be out of the chair and walking around, and if I'm at home, I'll find myself two blocks from my house.
When I wrote 'The West Wing,' the juice behind it was that in popular culture, our leaders in government are generally portrayed as Machiavellian, or as idiots. I thought, well, how about writing about a group of hyper-competent people?
You have an absolute freedom in Mexican writing today in which you don't necessarily have to deal with the Mexican identity. You know why? Because we have an identity... We know who we are. We know what it means to be a Mexican.
I am a morning writer; I am writing at eight-thirty in longhand and I keep at it until twelve-thirty, when I go for a swim. Then I come back, have lunch, and read in the afternoon until I take my walk for the next day's writing.
Diplomacy in a sense is the opposite of writing. You have to disperse yourself so much: the lady who comes in crying because she's had a fight with the secretary; exports and imports; students in trouble; thumbtacks for the embassy.
I love writing but hate starting. The page is awfully white, and it says, 'You may have fooled some of the people some of the time, but those days are over, giftless. I'm not your agent, and I'm not your mommy; I'm a white piece of paper. You wanna dance with me?' and I really, really don't. I'll go peaceable-like.
When I create a TV show, it's so that I can write it. I'm not an empire builder; my writing staff is usually a combination of two kinds of people - experts in the world the show is set in, and young writers who will not be unhappy if they're not writing scripts.
I've got plenty of quirks. I go to an office early in the morning. Early in the morning is really good writing time. I take anywhere between six to eight showers a day. I'm not exaggerating. I'm not a germaphobe: it's all about a fresh start.
One of the things that always comes up in my writing is the search for freedom, especially in women. I always write about women who are marginalized, who have no means or resources and somehow manage to get out of those situations with incredible strength - and that is more important than anything.
I never read detective novels. I started out in graduate school writing a more serious book. Right around that time I read 'The Day of the Jackal' and 'The Exorcist'. I hadn't read a lot of commercial fiction, and I liked them.
There is a lot to be said for collaboration, and it should be seen as just another way to do things as it is in other forms of writing, such as for television, where it is standard practice.
I have written 20 books, and each one is like having a baby. Writing is not easy; some people want to write books but just can't put a story together. I can put together a story that interests both me and my readers.
In the books I have written, I have created in my mind a universe. My kids say I have a village in my head and I live in that village, and it's true. When I start writing a book, characters from previous books reappear. All my emotions, my mind, my heart, my dreams, everything becomes connected with a new book, and nothing else really matters.
I'm often asked how I write books, but I don't think my approach is suitable for everyone. If I walked into a creative writing class, all I could say to them was 'I tend to make it up as I go along.' I'm not sure that's brilliant advice.
If you are a serious writer or just a normal one, in one way or another, you are writing in the service of freedom. All writers know, understand, or dream that their work will be in the service of freedom.
Writing about 2,000 words in three hours every morning, 'Casino Royale' dutifully produced itself. I wrote nothing and made no corrections until the book was finished. If I had looked back at what I had written the day before I might have despaired.
Kids are smart: don't underestimate their bull detector. Contemporary kids have access to a lot of information, so don't even try to fool them. I have never been more nervous about my research than when writing for young adults because they pick up every single error.
I write until the first draft is finished, and then I feel that I can get out. But, during the time of the writing of the first draft, I don't go out. I'm just locked away, writing. It's a time of meditation, of going into the story.
I work only in the morning from 10 to noon. I still write by hand. I interrupt my writing when I feel that I've discovered something beautiful or, on the contrary, when I feel discontent.