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 […]
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.
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