Aug. 7, 2010

Richard Ford: “make something good”

“I don’t think of characters as people. I think of them as made objects of language. And their only purpose is to be pushed outward toward the reader.… There’s never a time in writing stories at which the characters do what some writers say, which is to take over from me and become the person who writes the story.… I’m unwilling not to be their author.

“I still don’t want to write a book just because I’ve done it for thirty years. I don’t want to write a book just because my last book had good luck. I would like to write a book for the reason that anybody ever writes a book the first time, for those sort of unassailable, unquestionable, high aspirations of wanting to make something good, something good that you can give to somebody else. Over time, you can get very confused about those goals.”

— Richard Ford, Stuff Magazine, September 1997

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