I’m not writing non-fiction. I don’t feel anything about me as a kid was unique. Except that I had more interest in being alone and using my imagination.
My first attraction to writing novels was the plot, that almost extinct animal. Those novels I read which made me want to be a novelist were long, always plotted, novels – not just Victorian novels, but also those of my New England ancestors: Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne.
The Fourth Hand’ was a novel that came from twenty years of screenwriting concurrently with whatever novel I’m writing.
Anybody can do research. The plotting of the novel, writing the ending before you write anything else, which I always do – I don’t know that everybody can do that. That’s the hard part.
Writing a novel is actually searching for victims. As I write I keep looking for casualties. The stories uncover the casualties.
When I was still in prep school – 14, 15 – I started keeping notebooks, journals. I started writing, almost like landscape drawing or life drawing. I never kept a diary, I never wrote about my day and what happened to me, but I described things.
I never know when I finish the novel I am writing which will be the next novel out of the station.
I’ve always preferred writing in longhand. I’ve always written first drafts in longhand.
I write the last line, and then I write the line before that. I find myself writing backwards for a while, until I have a solid sense of how that ending sounds and feels. You have to know what your voice sounds like at the end of the story, because it tells you how to […]
When I was still in prep school – 14, 15 – I started keeping notebooks, journals. I started writing, almost like landscape drawing or life drawing. I never kept a diary, I never wrote about my day and what happened to me, but I described things. – John Irving