In 2002, Markus Zusak sat down to write a book.
He began by mapping out the beginning and the end of the story. Then, he started listing out chapter headings, pages of them. Some made it into the final story, many were cut.
When Zusak began to write out the story itself, he tried narrating it from the perspective of Death. It didn’t come out the way he wanted.
He re-wrote the book, this time through the main character’s eyes. Again, something was off.
He tried writing it from an outsider’s perspective. Still no good.
He tried present tense. He tried past tense. Nothing. The text didn’t flow.
He revised. He changed. He edited. By his own estimation, Zusak rewrote the first part of the book 150 to 200 times. In the end, he went back to his original choice and wrote it from the perspective of Death. This time—the…
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