In 1959 the BBC program called Monitor interviewed William Golding, whose first novel was Lord of the Flies. He started writing when he was 7 but his first novel was not published until he was forty. He describes the visual way he imagines the novel gaining form–his approach is based on knowing exactly what he wants to say before he begins to write.
He also talks about how important it is to compete with television and other distractions for the attention of the reader–already a challenge more than 50 years ago! The interview is about 17 minutes long.
Stephen King said, “To me Lord of the Flies has always represented what novels are for, what makes them indispensible.” Kingsley Amis said, “To read it is to undergo a shattering and memorable experience.”
You can watch the interview here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/writers/12203.shtml
(Would you like to have Mark Twain as your writing coach? Or how about Anton Chekhov or Jane Austen? You’ll find their advice about writing in my newest book, “Your Creative Writing Masterclass,” published by Nicholas Brealey and available from Amazon or your other favorite book seller.)
In 1958 the BBC interviewed E MForster, author of A Passage to India, about his life and his writing. In the the short (6-minute) clip below he talks about meeting people of all classes (a strong theme in his books), how he came to begin to write, and why he writes. He also explains why he “dried up” in terms of writing novels.
You can view it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/writers/12202.shtml
You may also want to have a look at his book, Aspects of the Novel, based on eight lectures on English literature he delivered at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1927. With an informal style he examined elements common to most novels: story, people, plot, fantasy, prophecy, pattern, and rhythm.
(Advice from the greatest writers of all time on writing–where could you find that? Actually, in my latest book: Your Creative Writing Masterclass, published by Nicholas Brealey and available from your favorite online or offline book seller.)