Reading the Guardian this weekend my eye was caught by this profile of David Peace, primarily because I am interested in the location he writes about. Growing up near Leeds all our lives were overshadowed by The Yorkshire Ripper. It shaped what was and what was not safe to do, the long walks up to University Library, coming home late after a gig at the Poly', so I was interested to read about the author of this book. I also like the idea of mixing fact with fiction and the way he collects pieces of writing is not dissimilar to my scrap books.
When I was asked to copy a piece of text recently to put on this blog, I was horrified how hard I found it to copy, it was only a few sentences but unless I kept checking, I would either completely rewrite them in my own words, or as you know, forget all the punctuation!
Peace responded to this discovery in the same way that he had responded to all literary discoveries since he was a child. "When I come across a sentence or paragraph that impresses me, I write it out. I'm not sure if other writers do it, but I suspect they do and it's a dirty little secret. It is like practising five-finger exercises. I thought Cormac McCarthy's The Road was a fantastic piece of work. But the only way I could really understand how it was done was to write some of it out. Francis Bacon's Popes were copies of Velázquez. The first piece of writing I copied was from Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet. But even before that, I had changed Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr Fox into my own version called The Magic Fox."
Read the rest here
P.S the Guardian search engine sucks, seroiusly I do not know why they bother I found this via the Google search engine.