Thursday, September 01, 2005

Less Than Reality

From an interview with Brett Easton Ellis:

As for research--whenever I start researching something I stop because I'm
writing fiction and the reality never adds up to what I want to do in a novel.
Research is basically paying attention to the world and if you're a writer you
can pretty much pull stuff from your relationship to the world and what you've
witnessed and use it in your fiction no matter what the subject matter is...
I agree. (If I'm understanding him right. Not very clear, is it?) I hate research. When you're writing fiction, you're creating a world in your head and putting it down on the page. Once you've taken the first step into fiction (ie: writing down stuff that is not actually true), you're stepping outside the real world. You're past with reality is broken, so there's no requirement to make things authentic. I realise this does not work for all types of fiction, but it works for me. And it works for Mr Ellis.

Plus I'm lazy, and research means work.

5 comments:

Al said...

But Charlie, if you write books about beer and porn then your 'research' is tax deductible.

Charlie Williams said...

I already employed that principle with FAGS AND LAGER. My next book is called FOOD AND LODGINGS, VEHICLE SERVICING, PETROL, COUNCIL TAX, CDS, DVDS, BOOKS, AND LAGER.

Anonymous said...

And I mentioned you in my question to said panelists Al and Ray. Also, are you coming to Left Coast Crime in Bristol. I got asked by an american friend who loves your books (not sure if she thinks I hold the diaries of several crime writers and sort out their personal appearances, but there you go)
Donna

Anonymous said...

Whoops, that was supposed to go under the Bouchercon blog post. sorry.
Donna

Charlie Williams said...

Donna - Thanks for mentioning me in your question, Donna. I dread to think what their answer was (or what the question was). Just kidding - cheers.

Left Coast Crime... sounds great to me. Bristol? That's local-ish. I will see about coming for sure. I know someone else who could be there too (Rob Lewis - his debut novel is set in a noir Bristol).