“Writing is my home.”
What a beautiful way to describe the act of writing: a home — a beloved, familiar haven.
Sometimes a story about an author reveals something about the mystery of writing itself and the comfort it can offer. That’s how I felt when I read this quote in an article about To the End of the Land, a new book by the Israeli writer, David Grossman. I feel a strong connection to him because this also happens to be my husband’s name.
To the End of the Land has won glowing praise from many quarters for its rich, evocative prose and strong sense of place. The New York Times Book Review called it “a panorama of breathtaking emotional force, a masterpiece of pacing, of dedicated storytelling, with characters whose lives are etched with extraordinary, vivid detail.”
This richness flows from the lush descriptions that David uses to bring his characters alive. As he puts it: “When I start to write a character, I always start from the physical. I need to know how a character moves and looks, what the sound of her voice is, how she makes love. I need to walk the way she walks.”
This reminds me of the approach that some actors use to create the characters they portray. In a biography of Sir Laurence Olivier, I remember reading that he used physical traits of the people he was playing to get in touch with their inner lives. Once he had a character’s mannerisms and appearance down, he found it easier to inhabit him emotionally. Just think of the way that Meryl Streep uses accent — it’s the same concept. Creating a full-bodied portrait of how a character looks and moves through the world is a great portal to personality.
“Writing is my home” — what a perfect, poignant way to describe the act of writing.