Marching to Valhalla
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Characters do not come out of the thin air. I think writers acquire characters by living a life in which something is risked. It's only by being defeated, rejected, exalted, by going through all the peaks and valleys, that you can acquire anything worth writing down.
Was homeless for a period in the mid-1980s while struggling to make it as a screenwriter and writing the novel Dances with Wolves. He lived out of his car and slept on friends' couches, eventually giving up on Hollywood and moving to Bisbee, Arizona. He was living there, working as a dishwasher in a Chinese restaurant, when the novel was published and his old friend Kevin Costner
asked him to ...