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From: Michael Straight <straight@email.unc.edu>
Subject: Re: (urth) Pulp Fiction
Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 10:27:17 

On Tue, 11 May 1999, Tony Ellis wrote:

> David Lebling joked:
> > ...All the
> > talk we hear about multiple drafts is just publicity; he races through each book
> > like the early-career Silverberg, and lets the errors fall where they may.
> >
> Actually, there may be a germ of truth to this. Not about the multiple
> drafts, obviously, but the "racing through" bit. I can still remember a
> long ago Gene Wolfe  interview in Interzone in which, talking about
> Severian fishing Dorcas out of the lake, Wolfe said "I had a hell of a
> time working out who she was and how she got there."
> The implication being that he really does make things up as he goes
> along, and then papers over the cracks, as opposed to working to an
> elaborate, preconceived plan. Personally speaking, that's always been
> the impression I've got from his novels in any case: they have that
> fast-paced, picaresque style symptomatic of a writer who doesn't have a
> clue what's going to happen next.

I'm not sure how much you can conclude from that one example.  I'd think
even the most "plan-ahead" type of writers occasionally come up with a
cool scene they want to write without really knowing yet where it's going
to go.  I imagine most writers having some combination of planning and
working things out as they go.

Then there's Philip Dick writing "The Man in the High Castle" by
periodically consulting the I Ching to decide which way the plot would go. 


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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