I love the Paris Review’s interviews. Their tweets pull such juicy quotes that I want to read them all, and then the interviews are so good that I want to read all the authors’ books (which I usually haven’t).
Here’s a great answer from the interview with Elizabeth Hardwick:
I don’t have many plots and perhaps as a justification I sometimes think: If I want a plot I’ll watch Dallas. I think it’s mood. No, I mean tone. Tone arrived at by language. I can’t write a story or an essay until I can, by revision after revision, get the opening tone right. Sometimes it seems to take forever, but when I have it I can usually go on. It’s a matter of the voice, how you are going to approach the task at hand. It’s all language and rhythm and the establishment of the relation to the material, of who’s speaking, not speaking as a person exactly, but as a mind, a sensibility.
I can relate to that ‘revision after revision’ piece. It helps you recognize what’s there only because it’s precious to you and what’s their because it’s important.