word craft


Starting a new book

mazeWhat’s it like to start a new book? Some­times I think it’s like a maze, one that has many entrances, many pas­sages, and many out­comes, none known (though you think you know the entrance). The maze also has many dead ends. It cer­tain­ly doesn’t have a known exit.  I, the writer, poke along through this maze, now this pas­sage, and now that, feel­ing my way (and I mean that feel­ing lit­er­ar­i­ly). If it feels good, I press on to the next choice of turns.  If it doesn’t feel right, I retreat and go anoth­er way. I may even have to go back and start again. From a dif­fer­ent place. The more I go for­ward, how­ev­er, the clear­er the way forward—unless, of course, I reach anoth­er dead end and have to yet start again.  Curi­ous­ly enough for all the hes­i­ta­tions, false moves, guess­es, dead ends, the goal is to make the sto­ry appear inevitable, as if it had no hes­i­ta­tions, false moves, guess­es, or dead ends. Do you think writ­ers always know what they are doing? Think again. 

7 thoughts on “Starting a new book”

  1. You are my favorite author in the entire world!!!! 🙂 I have read Seer Of Shad­ows and it is lit­er­al­ly my favorite book in the entire world!! I am 11 and is going into 6th grade!! I love read­ing and I am hop­ing to read every one of your books by the end of senior high!! I have read (from best):
    1. Seer of Shadows
    2. True Con­fes­sions of Charol­lette Doyle ( don’t real­ly know how to spell Charollette)
    3. Mur­der at Midnight
    4. Ragweed
    5. and final­ly I am cur­rent­ly read­ing Barn
    I love your work and your cre­ativ­i­ty and your beat­i­ful words that swoop me into a land where it is dream land and you can feel your­self being that main char­ac­ter!! I go and am going through rough times since I was six and always dreamt about becom­ing a singer/actor or a book pub­lish­er and when I read your books I am in a peace­ful land where every­thing is wor­ry free like Bali in Eat Pray and Love. I hope that you read this com­ment soon!!:)

  2. Do you ever know what you are writ­ting next while you are writ­ting anoth­er book?? What is your next book??

    • Yes I do.

      My next book to be pub­lished is called Sophi­a’s War.
      And I am work­ing on some­thing new. No title yet. Avi

  3. Dear Avi
    i real­ly love the books that you write. i have read the hole series of rag­weed and i love them so much. my most favorite book is Pop­py and Rye. i think you are so awe­some. for sum­mer read­ing i am read­ing Poppy.

    From your biggest fan,


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