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'Typing that sentence'

22 February 2010

'I think John Irving said in an interview something which nobody says about writing, which is that writing is sitting down and typing that sentence, and that sentence creates the next sentence and the character grows and the story grows from the physical act of typing what is going on in your head, so in a way my father gave me the example that you sit down in the morning, you keep office hours and you work...

The ending informs the novel throughout. So I have to know it because it seems to me that writing novels, which is very different from writing screenplays, is a continual fight against anarchy. You have to keep your mind very focused all the time on what it's about and you have to know your characters very well otherwise they do anything, and if they really can do anything, they can do anything! That's very alarming and that's what induces paralysis, whereas if you are clear about them and you know them very well, they will tell you what they are going to do and you will know what they should do. That's something I've learned over the years and it's jolly important.'

Deborah Moggach in Scriptwriter