Wired.com is one of the largest websites for nerd/geeks!
Therefore, it should be no surprise that Terry was approached by Hugo-nominated anthologist John Joseph Adams and friends to interview Terry for Wired. Terry spoke with them for almost an hour, discussing a variety of subjects, from the early days when The Sword of Shannara was still being revised to the upcoming anthology Unfettered to his newest novel, Wards of Faerie.
Here is a small teaser from the beginning of the interview:
Wired: When I was at the Odyssey writers workshop, you came and you were our writer-in-residence, and while you were there you told us a story about how when you submitted your first novel, The Sword of Shannara, to Lester Del Rey, he made you do just massive, massive revisions on it. Could you talk about that?
Terry Brooks: Well, that was my first complete novel, and I was pretty much a neophyte in the craft area. I had rewritten that book three times before I sent it in, as a matter of fact, but there were a lot of places where it was weak. I also was wordy — much more wordy than I am now certainly — and it just sort of went on and on. And he got irritated with the fact that I was doing a lot of things with weather reports and descriptions of forestlands and so on, and he said, “Cut all this stuff out of here.” He said, “We don’t need this. It just slows the story down. Just get to the story.”
It’s sort of like Elmore Leonard saying, “Leave out all the words that people skip.” That was his approach to writing as a commercial fiction writer, and I believed in that, so I rewrote some areas numerous times. I rewrote the ending repeatedly. He didn’t like the ending and he wanted it different, so I wrote it two or three times, and then finally got it to a place where he was happy with it. He threatened at one point, because I wasn’t moving fast enough, he said, “Well look, if you can’t do this, why don’t I do it? I’ll write it for you.” And of course that scared the bejeezus out of me, so I went back and got it right the next time, and he was happy after that.
To listen to the entire podcast or read the interview, click HERE!
Happy Wards week!