Where are we going?

Joyce Carol Oates and Ian McEwan had an interesting exchange about whether a novelist needs to know how a book will end right from the beginning of writing it.
Immediately before their discussion, Wally Lamb had done a presentation and reading. He said he doesn’t know where his books are going, or sometimes even what they are called. He worked on “She’s Come Undone” for nine years and the title came at the end.
Oates said the thought of writing a novel without knowing how it ends “filled me with fear and terror, as if I were driving some sort of vehicle without a steering wheel.”
McEwan said that’s how he works: “I write the novel to find out what the novel’s about.”
Oates: “To me, this is exciting and dangerous and different.”
McEwan: “It’s fantastically inefficient.”

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