Une interview de Patrick Rothfuss

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L'auteur de la Chronique du tueur de roi (dont le premier volume Le Nom du vent est paru en 2007) a accepté de répondre aux questions du site Crossedgenres.com. Il y explique les différences qui existent entre le premier et le le deuxième volet de sa série, comment il procède pour écrire et livre quelques petites astuces aux aspirants écrivains.

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1) In any series, each book has a certain ‘feel’ to its story — either a shift in theme for each book, or a shift in focus for that arc of the story. How would you describe the difference in feel between The Name of The Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear?

The first book was the story of a young boy. The second book is the story of a young man. There’s a big difference between the two. In Name of the Wind, Kvothe was mostly trying to survive. In The Wise Man’s Fear, he’s more in control of his life, that means the story can focus more on exploration and discovery.

Another big difference is in the scope of the story. You see more of the world. You experience more of the culture. There’s more action. More sex. More violence.

2) In which ways have the events of your life shaped The Kingkiller Chronicles?

Care to narrow that down a bit? That’s sort of like saying, “So, you’re a man. How has that influenced your life?”

2a) Are there specific experiences in your life which are reflected in the story of The Kingkiller Chronicles?

Specific experiences? No. I’ve read books that do that sort of thing, and they’re usually awful. Stories where the author is obviously working out some of their personal issues rarely turn out well in my opinion.

Now the truth is, writing is a great way to deal with a lot of difficult emotional issues. It can be very therapeutic, but that’s best done in your journal, or on your blog if you’re an exhibitionist. Trying to put a bunch of *specific* stuff from your personal life into your story usually just isn’t appropriate unless you’re writing a memoir or a personal essay or something of the sort.

But do I use *general* experiences from my own life? Of course. That’s what being a writer is all about. It’s easier to write about heartbreak after you’ve had your heart broken. You have more material to draw from, you can extrapolate from your own experiences and make reasonable assumptions about how your characters would feel and act.

The key here is the extrapolation. If a girl named Jenny broke your heart and slept with your best friend, you shouldn’t try to map that experience directly into your story. You don’t want your main character to meet a girl named Genny who sleeps with his best friend. Odds are, you’re too emotionally tied up in that experience to do a good job integrating it into the story. Eight times of ten it will end up feeling maudlin and self-pitying. Or worse, the author will turn it into a revenge fantasy. Neither of those is good for the story.


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Priscilla Duran-Mulas
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