Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.
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I began to ask two questions while I was reading a book that excited me: not only what was going to happen next, but how is this done? How is it that these words on the page make me feel the way I'm feeling? This is the line of inquiry that I think happens in a child's mind, without him even knowing he has aspirations as a writer.
I discovered Einstein said the same thing about his celebrated theories of relativity that writers say about their work when he said he didn't have any feelings of personal possession of these ideas. Once they were out there, they came from somewhere else. And that's exactly the feeling when you write. You don't feel possessive about it.
I don't think anything I've written has been done in under six or eight drafts. Usually it takes me a few years to write a book. 'World's Fair' was an exception. It seemed to be a particularly fluent book as it came. I did it in seven months. I think what happened in that case is that God gave me a bonus book.