How to write a novel

In Vikram Seth’s successful and hugely long novel, “A Suitable Boy” (1500 pages), Lata, a young woman, asks Amit, a writer, how you write a novel.

His answer, I feel (and so probably does every other reader), comes directly from Seth, talking about his own novel.

“I don’t know exactly….This is my first novel, and I’m in the process of finding out. At the moment it feels like a banyan tree…it sprouts, and grows, and spreads, and drops down branches that become trunks or intertwine with other branches. Sometimes branches die. Sometimes the main trunk dies, and the structure is held up by the supporting trunks. When you go to the Botanical Garden you’ll see what I mean. It has its own life—but so do the snakes and birds and bees and lizards and termites that live in it and on it and off it. But then it’s also like the Ganges in its upper, middle and lower courses—including its delta—of course.”

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “How to write a novel

  1. Pingback: What happens to you when you read Middlemarch? | Richard Smith's non-medical blogs

  2. Pingback: A 1500 page novel that never seems to disappoint | Richard Smith's non-medical blogs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s