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Thursday, 22 April 2004
Novelist Neal Stephenson interviewed at Salon:
One of things you like to do on the side is dabble in programming. Do you see similarities between writing code and writing fiction?

I think there are common threads between writing and programming. That’s a really easy statement for people to misunderstand and twist around so I’m a little leery of making it. All I’m saying is that the thing you’re making — the novel or the computer program — has got a very complicated and finely wrought hierarchical structure to it. The structure has to work right or the whole thing fails. But the only way you can work on it is by hitting one character at a time. You’re building this thing one character at a time while having to maintain the whole structure in your head. That description applies equally well to programming and novel writing even though they’re very different activities.
[You can watch a short commercial for a free Salon “day pass” if you are not a member.]
posted to /misc at 5:21am :: 0 responses



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