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Hilma Wolitzer Recommends...

Writers Recommend

Posted 2.15.12

“Whenever I finish writing a novel, I feel bereft of the characters. I also believe I’ve expended everything I know and have even exhausted my vocabulary. Reading other authors' works—fiction, poetry, essays—helps to replenish my language and jump-start my imagination. Still, facing the blank page or screen is always intimidating, so I try to ‘write’ in my head as long as I can before putting words down. This requires memorizing long blocks of prose until there’s enough to begin with a little confidence. But aging has strained my memory, so I find myself jotting down words on whatever’s handy: my checkbook, the margins of the newspaper, and even the palm of my hand. I really know I’m ready to go when a new set of characters starts lounging in my head like squatters.”
Hilma Wolitzer, author of An Available Man (Ballantine, 2012)

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