I read somewhere that all the living we do is pure research. “That which does not kill/more grist for the mill”.
For years, I’ve prided myself on being a method writer; I’ve done – and continue to do – all my own stunts.
The process of writing is all about rigorous honesty. Back in the early 1990s, I got into reading de Sade when his work started appearing in mainstream bookshops. Although his fiction holds little interest for me these days, I’ve never stopped being impressed with his brutal, incisive intellect.
This brings me back to method writing. Every ludicrous, terrifying or repulsive situation I get myself into has the capability of becoming a bit of fiction at some point. I might only use a tiny fragment, but it’ll be there when I need to haul out memories to authenticise what I’m writing.
Which is probably why I’ve devoted my life to getting myself into the sorts of situations normal people spend their lives trying to avoid.
Why not read the novel that started it all? 1919 (inside)
A love story – on home-made acid – narrated by someone first used romatically, then set on fire, by the blue peter team, capering around the pyre like wrinkled vikings.