Monday, October 21, 2013

Scratches on a page

I can't remember the last time I fell so in love with a writer, but since weeping into a puddle over The Fault in Our Stars I've been having obsessive, crush-like bursts of stalking John Green.

As a part of my investigation into all things about him, I came across this response he gave on the writing of this most excellent book that at one point became a 'problem' for him:

"...for ten years of my life, I tried to write this book and it taunted me and it sucked and it kept sucking and nothing I could do for years and years made it suck less, and then finally I was given a way into it and I worked very hard to make it the best book that I could possibly make it, but books will always be a collaboration between reader and writer, and at some point I have to stop doing my job so I can start letting you do your job.

I mean that a book is a problem in that it is composed out of meaningless scratches on a page that must be translated into ideas that live inside your head, and you use a set of skills (literacy, critical thinking, etc.) to make that happen.  I don’t mean that it is an UNFORTUNATE problem; I just mean that it is a thing that has to be created by both of us, like a crossword puzzle or something."

Ten years!  Also, I love this idea that a book is created by both the writer and the reader.  This somewhat legitimises my stalking, we collaborated on this after all.

Taken from here (not to read if you haven't yet read the book), more from him and his wonderful brother here.


Kate said...

Isn't it the best? I can't believe we didn't talk about this on Sunday but so glad you're enjoying/you enjoyed. Read everything he's written - all is wonderful :) xxx

Kaisa said...

THANKS for this tip, read the book and loved it! Off to read more from him now... :) And happy 1 year SF anniversary!

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