UK Telegraph: You have to be a terrible monster to write

Not sure I agree with this, but I’ll toss it out there anyway:

Tóibín explains that he once told a class that “you have to be a terrible monster to write. I said, ‘Someone might have told you something they shouldn’t have told you, and you have to be prepared to use it because it will make a great story. You have to use it even though the person is identifiable. If you can’t do it then writing isn’t for you. You’ve no right to be here. If there is any way I can help you get into law school then I will. Your morality will be more useful in a courtroom.’”

I have never found this to be true.  A good writer can obscure just as well as describe.  Not sure that I would ever say that must break a confidence in order to get a good concept in mind.

…and admittedly, I have never read any of Toibin’s work.  Perhaps he has a secret I don’t.  Still, I’ll be content with my morality and soul while others bottom feed for immortality.

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