Ask An Author

Published on October 18th, 2012 | by Devin


Cory Doctorow Talks About His Writing Process

We asked Cory Doctorow -, author of the award-winning Little Brother and the recently-published Pirate Cinema – a few quick questions about himself and his writing process. Check out what he said below.


Q: What book would you give to your 14 year old self?

Cory Doctorow: Little Brother, so I could self-plagiarize it and start my literary career 20 years early.

What book from your childhood do you read over and over again?

Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy From Mars by Daniel Pinkwater.

What book do/did you enjoy reading aloud to your children?

A Wrinkle in Time, the graphic novel adaptation by Hope Larsen.

What’s your best writing advice for young authors?

Write every day. Seriously. This one matters.

When you start writing a new book, do you write an outline first? Do you know what the
ending will be?

No, and no — I work from impressionistic “treatments”, not outlines.

Do you have any tips for keeping writing through a long project like a novel?

Set a daily word count and meet it every day. Finish mid-sentence so you can pick up easily again the
next day.

Do you write biographies of your characters before you start writing a book?

No, I don’t.

Do you keep a writing schedule? Do you write a certain amount every day? At a specific time?

A certain amount, yes, but it varies from project-to-project.


(Cover Photo by CelebHope)

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