Lee Child and Andrew Child on Discipline, Dread, and Writing Late at Night
crimereads.com – Wednesday October 26, 2022
Lee and Andrew Child’s new book, No Plan B, was released earlier today, so we asked them a few questions about writing routine, advice, and influence.
What time of day do you write (and why)?
Lee Child: I’m ruled by my biological clock, which mandates one unshakeable conclusion: nothing of value is ever achieved in the morning. Typically I get up late and spend a couple of hours moving from a comatose state into something resembling human life. Then I’ll start work about 1 or 2 in the afternoon. I have learned to sense the point when quality starts to diminish, which is usually about 6 hours later, so I’ll stop then. Often I get a second energy peak around midnight, so I’ll do another couple of hours before bed, especially in the later stages when the story is really rolling. Usually a book takes between 80 and 90 working days, spread out over about 7 months.
Andrew Child: My favorite time to write is at night. I like it best when darkness falls and the world shrinks down to the size of the pool of light that spills from my laptop screen. That just leaves me alone with the story I’m telling, nothing to distract, nothing to interfere.
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