Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Writing advice from Mickey Spillane

(Explaining his preference for writing fast and never revising.)
"If you are a writer and you do a scene ten times, the last one probably will sound like the first one, and you're not going to get any better as you revise. The best stuff you put down comes right off the typewriter, bam! When I wrote my last book, I think I threw away four pieces of paper, that's all."

(Explaining why he always writes the final scene first.)
"Why do you listen to a joke? The biggest part of the joke is the punch line, so the biggest part of a book should be the punch line, the ending. People don't read a book to get to the middle, they read a book to get to the end and hope that the ending justifies all the time they spent reading it. So what I do is, I get my ending and, knowing what my ending is going to be, then I write to the end and have the fun of knowing where I'm going but not how I'm going to get there."

(Explaining how he writes a book.)
"I sit down and put down page one, chapter one. I'd already have written the ending."

"Every great novel is a book about crime".

Quotes from the very macho Mickey Spillane (1918 - 2006), American crime writer and creator of detective Mike Hammer, "the toughest tough guy ever to appear in fiction". His most famous line occurred in his very first case: he shoots a woman in the stomach and as she dies she asks, "How could you?" He answers, "It was easy".

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