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A PEEK INTO THE MIND OF A WRITER






From The New York Times, June 7, 2012 article, John Irving: By the Book

John Irving doesn’t read or write anything electronically except emails. “I write in longhand. I have always written first drafts by hand, but I used to write subsequent drafts and insert pages on a typewriter. Now (for the last two books) I write all my drafts by hand. It’s the right speed for me – slow.”

On characters: “The main character and the most important character are not always the same person – you have to know the difference.” When deciding between first-person voice and third-person voice, Irving says it helps him to know what the story is and who the characters are before he chooses the point-of-view voice.

When asked to name what book changed his life, Irving said, Great Expectations. “It made me want to be able to write a novel like that. It was very visual . . . and the characters were more vivid than any I had heretofore met on the page.”

My favorite book is The Stand by Stephen King. I love the story but even more, I love the characters and after each reading (I’ve lost count) I miss them for a while. For me, it’s not so much that I’d like to write like Stephen King (or though I really would!) it’s more that I would love to be able to give a reader the experience his book gives me.

What book changed your life or made you want to write like that?

John Irving

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
angeladegroot
Jun. 29th, 2012 11:29 am (UTC)
And so you have. Happiness is . . .
jongibbs
Jun. 29th, 2012 12:53 am (UTC)
Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett.
angeladegroot
Jun. 29th, 2012 11:32 am (UTC)
I love Guards! Guards! Terry Pratchett has such a clever sense of humor. Have you read the Wee Free Men?
jongibbs
Jun. 29th, 2012 04:39 pm (UTC)
I've read all his books, some of them 5 or 6 times ;)

I especially enjoy the Guards and Witches series(es?)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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