You've got to choose your horse ahead of time. So, if you're interested in water technology, energy technology, you get to choose between the three or four companies that you have insight into. And you have to make a bet on them before they prove anything out.
I set a personal record on Christmas. I got my shopping done three weeks ahead of time. I had all the presents back at my apartment, I was halfway through wrapping them, and I realized, 'Damn, I used the wrong wrapping paper.' The paper I used said, 'Happy Birthday.' I didn't want to waste it, so I just wrote 'Jesus' on it.
When I was a kid in Indiana, we thought it would be fun to get a turkey a year ahead of time and feed it and so on for the following Thanksgiving. But by the time Thanksgiving came around, we sort of thought of the turkey as a pet, so we ate the dog. Only kidding. It was the cat!
I want the plot to be as complicated as possible. Usually I'll write all the way through to an end, and then I go back and try to fix the ending so that it makes sense. I don't think out the plot ahead of time.
What is necessary for 'the very existence of science,' and what the characteristics of nature are, are not to be determined by pompous preconditions, they are determined always by the material with which we work, by nature herself. We look, and we see what we find, and we cannot say ahead of time successfully what it is going to look like. ... It is necessary for the very existence of science that minds exist which do not allow that nature must satisfy some preconceived conditions.
I can tell you it makes a big difference to have a director who is collaborative. What motivates a character in my mind could be completely different from what the director's thinking. You have to have those conversations ahead of time and throughout the process. It affects the performance.
I can never tell ahead of time which book will give me trouble - some balk every step of the way, others seem to write themselves - but certainly the mechanics of writing, finding the time and the psychic space, are easier now that my children are grown.