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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Writing 'until it was right'

“I think about the characters I've created, and then I sit down and start typing and see what they will do. There's a lot of subconscious thought that goes on. It amazes me to find out, a few chapters later, why I put someone in a certain place when I did.” – Tom Clancy

Tom Clancy was born on this date in 1947 and died in 2013, writing right up until the end and trying to convey what those characters were still telling him to share. He was in his mid-30s when he got started as a writer and went on to 17 best-selling novels, 4 award-winning movies, and more than 100 million copies of his books in print.  Not one to be tied down or intimidated by technology, he also got actively involved in developing video games based on his writings.

Clancy said he started writing in 1982 because “I wanted to see my name on the cover of a book. If your name is in the Library of Congress, you're immortal,” he told one interviewer.  That first book was the suspense-filled adventure The Hunt for Red October, a book he wrote over a period of years while working at an insurance company.   A stickler for the details, Clancy established himself as an undisputed master at blending exceptional realism and authenticity, intricate plotting, and razor-sharp suspense.
While he never studied writing, he was    
 always interested in being a writer in order to convey the knowledge that he had attained through his countless hours of research and love of military history.  When asked what advice he would give to new writers, he said,  “Learn to write the same way you learn to play golf. You do it and keep doing it until you get it right.”

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