Novels, depending on the genre, allow the reader to bring much of their own personal life to their stories, whereas plays are a different beast and rely on a great production and great acting.
Todd McEwen tells Frances Byrnes about how his early life in Southern California gave him abundance – in literature and landscape – but also taught him scepticism and helped him develop his distinctive writing voice.
Since Shakespeare delighted Elizabeth I by giving Sir John Falstaff his own play, characters from stories have often had afterlives — existences outside the works that gave birth to them. John Pilkington argues that appropriating a character, and turning him or her into someone new, is very different from writing a mere sequel.
Writers have after-lives, lived out in what happens to their unfinished manuscripts. From Weir of Hermiston and Edwin Drood to Nabokov’s The Original of Laura, Keith Tutt wonders what might have been.