Salman Rushdie on Writing

In my free time I do a lot of stuff. Sometimes I watch interviews with famous writers. It’s always fascinating to see another human being working in such a similar manner.

I chose this short video with Salman Rushdie explaining how fiction works because I feel that a lot of writers are struggling with what’s true and what’s not. You know, they can’t find the boundary between fiction and life.

And this, in my opinion, is crucial.

Also, I like his definition of human truth. That’s something I’ve discussed about with my writer friends. That our characters borrow characteristics from people we’ve met, that we write about our experiences and emotions and so on.

Even when you write about the things you don’t know, you only do so not because of your incredible power of imagination, but because you draw inspiration from a similar experience. We can imagine a planet with two suns (I really use this example a lot) simply because we’ve all experienced very hot days (well, most of us, anyway.)

I think that the writer’s job is to make the impossible seem plausible.


9 thoughts on “Salman Rushdie on Writing

  1. “Make the implausible, plausible.” That is a beautiful summary. You’re absolutely right, and a great piece of wisdom that is.

    Thank you for sharing both this video (love Big Think!) and your thoughts. It came as a great piece of inspiration today.


  2. Timely. I just finished reading the most outragiously awful crap I’ve ever read, and in the last 30 minutes I was down at my bookshelf retrieving my as-yet unread copy of Luka and The Fire of Life (which I assume is the book he’s referring to) to cleanse my soul. Working on a novel at the moment and have been wondering the same question of human truth.


  3. Salman Rushdie should be honored just for being alive. His memoir, “Anton Chekhov,” is a modern horror story of someone living in hiding for years and yet continuing to write and publish. An inspiration to us all.


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