Martin Amis Talks Aging and the Writing Process

Posted on October 15, 2011

Last week at the Hay Festival in Mexico, Martin Amis gave a wide-ranging talk about how a writer ages and how he approaches writing. He also talks about why writing down your experiences when you are young is so important (you'll need those notes later). His next novel is Lionel Asbo, which will be published next year.

Martin has this to say about the process of writing a novel:

The process of writing a novel is getting to know more about the novel until you know everything about it. And it's been described as a kind of dreamlike state where you're letting the novel make its own shape, and you're putting into it the pleasure of creation, which is intoxicating.

You can do absolutely anything; you are the freest of all artists. You're not confined by a square on the wall or musical scales or the disciplines of verse, and you're certainly freer than a film-maker who is dependent on the weather when he goes out to make his world. And it's completely uncollaborative - you don't have actors; producers; money pressures of any kind.

He says he writes in longhand first and then does two versions of typescript on a computer.

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