I really - I don't take my work that seriously, and I think that's what keeps me loose. If I try to write, if I catch myself trying to write, I'll fall right on my face. I'll see it. If I see in the prose that I'm - 'Boy, look at me writing', I rewrite it. I rewrite it because I don't, because I think it's distracting.
I do this a lot with names. I'll start with a name, and then for some reason he won't talk much, or he's older than I pictured him just because of a name I give him. So then I finally get the right name, and I can't shut the guy up. This always happens. There's always a character who gives me trouble that way.
I think any writer is a fool if he doesn't do it for money. There needs to be some kind of incentive in addition to the project. It all goes together. It's fun to sit there and think of characters and get them into action, then be paid for it. I can't believe it when writers tell me 'I don't want to show my work to anybody'.
When you are developing your style, you avoid weaknesses. I am not good at describing things, so I stay away from it. And if anyone is going to describe anything at all, it's going to be from the point of view of the character, because then I can use his voice, and his attitude will be revealed in the way he describes what he sees.
I would say just start writing. You've got to write every day. Copy someone that you like if you think that perhaps could become your sound, too. I did that with Hemingway, and I thought I was writing just like Hemingway. Then all of a sudden it occurred to me - he didn't have a sense of humor. I don't know anything he's written that's funny.
A friend of mine who is in the publishing business knew I was writing a book, and he said, 'Have you said anything yet about the good guy? Because I know you spend so much time with the bad guys.' Because they're fun. So then you have to make the good guy fun, in order to compete. That's the challenge.