I ran across this Dean Koontz interview by Brad Crawford in 2008 and just had to share. I was amazed at Koontz's writing techniques, particularly the way he hides poetry. And I can't believe how he edits! I always race through my first draft then go back several times and add in all the special details, but after reading this, I think I might slow it down. What do you guys think?
Dean Koontz: "I like prose to have hidden rhythms; I like prose to have a music beneath the surface. It’s almost never recognized by the reader in a conscious way, but it is recognized unconsciously. It’s why readers feel the prose flow, why it speaks to them. A poet once reviewed one of my books and recognized that entire passages were written in iambic pentameter. I didn’t think anyone would ever notice that. Different poetic meters affects us emotionally in different ways. It’s not anything anyone’s going to see, but it’s one of the great techniques to suck a reader right into the heart of the story."
I don’t write a quick draft and then revise. Instead, I write 30 or 40 drafts of each page before moving to the next. When they hear this, other writers ask me how I keep my excitement about the story when I’m taking so long to move through a scene. I take tremendous joy in the use of language. That’s as exciting to me as a plot development or the quirky edge a character may acquire. If all you’re excited about are twists and turns of the suspense plot, you’re not opening yourself to the full joy of writing. Besides, when writing a quick draft, it’s the rare writer who goes back and polishes to the degree that he or she ought to do.