Skip to Content

Comment from the book world in June 2021

June 2021

'Each character is different'

29 June 2021

‘When people come together - let's say they come to a little party or something - you always hear them discuss character. They will say this one has a bad character, this one has a good character, this one is a fool, this one is a miser. Gossip makes the conversation. They all analyze character. It seems that the analysis of character is the highest human entertainment. And literature does it, unlike gossip, without mentioning real names.

The writers who don't discuss character but problems -social problems or any problems - take away from literature its very essence. They stop being entertaining. We, for some reason, always love to discuss and discover character. This is because each character is different, and human character is the greatest of puzzles.'

Isaac Bashevis Singer, distinguished author of The Magician of Lublin, The Slave, The Family Moskat, 16 other novels and many other works

Walter Mosley on rewriting

14 June 2021

'Writing is rewriting. The first draft is the jabber you forced on that blind date. She was hoping for someone to ask her what she was feeling, but all you said was, and then I, and then I, and then I, and then . . . The first draft is meant to be discarded. The first draft is the beginning of the idea, the slender thread of a story. The second draft is little better, as is the third, and the fourth and fifth. Writing is rewriting - a lot of rewriting. You think you know what you should have said on that job interview, but in truth it might have been a mistake even to go after that job. You said the wrong things on the date, but if you had said what you thought of the next day the ensuing relationship would have been a fiasco. You know it. You do. [...]'

Walter Mosley, author of Devil in a Blue Dress, The Long Fall, Blood Grove and dozens of other books, in Lit Hub