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Ken Follett (Writer)

World War II is the greatest drama in human history, the biggest war ever and a true battle of good and evil. I imagine writers will continue to get stories from it, and readers will continue to love them, for many more years.
Ken Follett love
There is no point in asking a man a question until you have established whether he has any reason to lie to you.
Ken Follett man
With hindsight, we see that the Soviet Union never had a chance of world domination, but we didn't know that then.
Ken Follett world
For success, the author must make the reader care about the destiny of the principals, and sustain this anxiety, or suspense, for about 100,000 words.
Ken Follett success
People are much more complicated in real life, but my characters are as subtle and nuanced as I can make them. But if you say my characters are too black and white, you've missed the point. Villains are meant to be black-hearted in popular novels. If you say I have a grey-hearted villain, then I've failed.
Ken Follett life
Listen, I wrote 10 unsuccessful books before I broke through, so I'm looking all the time to keep my books fascinating. I want to write what people want to read, not push any message.
Ken Follett success
I like to create imaginary characters and events around a real historical situation. I want readers to feel: OK, this probably didn't happen, but it might have.
Ken Follett character
I went and looked at one of these great cathedrals one day, and I was blown away by it. From there I became interested in how cathedrals were built, and from there I became interested in the society that built the medieval cathedral. It occurred to me at some point that the story of the building of a cathedral could be a great popular novel.
Ken Follett society
I'm a great planner, so before I ever write chapter 1, I work out what happens in every chapter and who the characters are. I usually spend a year on the outline.
Ken Follett work
In my books, women often solve the problem. Even if the woman is not the hero, she's a strong character. She does change the plot. She'll often rescue the male character from some situation.
Ken Follett books
The research is the easiest. The outline is the most fun. The first draft is the hardest, because every word of the outline has to be fleshed out. The rewrite is very satisfying.
Ken Follett fun
I am very fond of Edith Wharton. She's quite high brow but also a great storyteller. My favorite is 'The House of Mirth.' I also like 'The Reef.'
Ken Follett art
The CIA's research program is described in a book called The Search for the Manchurian Candidate.
Ken Follett book
One of the hardest things for me, now that I'm famous, is finding people who can read my stuff and give me an honest critique.
Ken Follett people
A very good editor is almost a collaborator.
Ken Follett good
I aim to be translucent, so you don't notice the words, just their meaning. I haven't much insight into people's motivations.
Ken Follett motivation
I like reading history, and actually most authors enjoy the research part because it is, after all, easier than writing.
Ken Follett writing
I want to tell a story that makes the reader always want to see what will happen next.
Ken Follett story
There is a real connection between Philosopy and fiction.
Ken Follett fiction
Thrillers have been traditionally very masculine books; the women characters often rather decorative.
Ken Follett books
With the World War II era, there's so much written material to draw on. When you go back to the 14th century, you have to imagine more.
Ken Follett you
I have quite a few different Bibles. Having rejected my parents' religion, I still think the King James Bible is the most important work of literature in English. None of us can help being influenced by it.
Ken Follett religion
I wake up with the story in my head, so I really like to be at my desk about five minutes after I wake up. So I don't get dressed. I put on a bathrobe, I make tea and sit at my desk.
Ken Follett story
There was a very serious communist strain among American intellectuals before the war. America was a more tolerant place in those days, and Communists were not treated as pariahs. That ended with the McCarthy era.
Ken Follett war
We all now tell stories by cutting from one dramatic scene to the next, whereas Victorian novelists felt free to write long passages of undramatic summary.
Ken Follett novel

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