|He said writing is made up of "persistence, talent, and luck" -- and that persistence is the only component we can really control.
He said he thinks about his characters as being in a play or a movie, and he is the director, which means he gets to decide where to put the camera in every scene.
Additionally, he finds fantasy a helpful tool to assist storytelling, and humbly said it's "easier to make things up" and that he's "very lazy"! (We all know that isn't true.)
|I'm not very consistent about rules. Rules are for editors. –Sir Philip Pullman
When asked why he sometimes uses challenging vocabulary in his books, and doesn't try to adjust the language for a younger age, he said he hoped that readers would stick with it anyway. "We continue with things we don't understand because we learn from them." He also said:
|"I trust readers to be at least as intelligent as I am, probably more."
|"I'm writing for anyone who wants to read it."
The conversation turned toward the subject of morality and optimism, writing our values and sharing them with our readers. He said:
He shared charming anecdotes, such as being motivated by a threatening letter received from a young reader:
"Finish your book or the squirrel will die!" That's *one* way to motivate your favorite writer.
Some timeless and consistent advice for those aspiring to publish their books in the future:
|"If you want to develop your craft as a writer, read."
There was so much more than I could possibly cover in this post: dinner with Tolkien, frozen margaritas and bolo ties, Paradise Lost (but for kids), present tense narration as the "scourge" of children's literature...