Happy Birthday, Steven Amsterdam, born 31 January 1966
- A story is built on characters and reasons.
- Being with a small publisher has been huge. They bat for me for everything.
- Fiction demands structures and recognizable shapes. Big surprises only draw attention to the writer’s hand.
- I want people to think about the powers they would wish for and the powers they really need. More than that, I want people to think about the many sides there are to every family.
- Putting it all together, I actually made an Excel spreadsheet. Which doesn’t sound like the muse at work, but it was a really good way to focus. I had to keep track of who was how old and how relationships had changed. So on one axis there was each character’s name… There was a way to look at each character’s relationship to each other character, by the year the story was taking place. So I at least knew the chronology.
- I’d like to think that a story is going to describe a shift.
- I’ve ended up writing the first chapter relatively late in the process. Which I have to recommend if you’re writing a book, because it takes a lot of pressure off of starting a book.
Amsterdam is an American writer who lives in Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of Things We Didn’t See Coming.
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