Margot Livesey: The Hidden Machinery (January 1999)
What are the primary differences between writing short stories and novels? How are shorter and longer lines of plot and suspense structured? And what is the “hidden machinery” that can make a good novel run—and even lift it out of plot and scene, to reveal deeper meaning? Fiction writer Margot Livesey explores these questions, drawing on how she learned to write a novel and focusing on what she learned, specifically, from E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India and Henry James’ A Portrait of Lady.