Skip Navigation
NPR News

Richard Powers: Each Try Launches Another

by Melody Joy Kramer
Nov 20, 2006

Share this

Richard Powers is the author of nine novels. His latest, The Echo Maker, won the 2006 National Book Award for Fiction. He teaches creative writing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

How He Writes: "I like to start early, as fresh from sleep as possible. If the going is slow at first, I will tinker with yesterday's sentences until I feel myself back in the flow. I'll break for lunch and then hit my peak hours in the mid-afternoon. Invention and refinement seem to play off each other, all day long. In the early evening, when I start to fade, I'll shift over to reading, which takes me into the night and primes the pump for the next day."

Writer's Block Remedies: "In 25 years of writing novels, I've never had anything that felt like writer's block. I write the way you might arrange flowers. Not every try works, but each one launches another. Every constraint, even dullness, frees up a new design."

A Favorite Sentence: "In some empty hall, my brother is still singing."

Previous Author: Geraldine Brooks Next Author: Jodi Picoult

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Missing some content? Check the source: NPR
Copyright(c) 2014, NPR

Visitor comments


NCPR is supported by:

This is a Visitor-Supported website.