How do writers approach a new novel? Do they start with plot, character, or theme? A. S. Byatt starts with color. E. L. Doctorow begins with an image. In Off the Page, authors tell us how they work, giving insight into their writing process. Gathered from some of today's best writers-Paul Auster, Martin Amis, Gish Jen, Dan Chaon, Alice McDermott, and many others interviewed on washingtonpost.com's "Off the Page" series-host Carole Burns has woven their wisdom into chapters illuminating to any writer or reader. How does place influence authors? How do they make a sex scene work? How do they tell when the work is done? Walter Mosley defying genre; Shirley Hazzard on love; Michael Cunningham on compassion: these and more from Richard Ford, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Charles Baxter will deepen your appreciation for the art of writing and excite you to try new ways of writing yourself.