Monday, June 8, 2009

Starting at the End

That's what John Irving does. When he's writing a novel, he writes the last sentence first. Then he writes the rest of the book toward that last sentence.

I've often heard writers say they write a first sentence and then follow that sentence. But Irving says he does the opposite. I think I may have done this once, for a short story. As a regular practice, though, I don't think so. Not for me anyway.

What starts things for me is usually that first sentence, or a character, or an idea, or an image, or... something.

Irving discusses his approach in a video interview with The New York Times.

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