Australian novelist Tim Winton spoke at the Vancouver International Writers' Festival last fall. He commented on what drove him as a writer, and what he thought about stories.
“I had to make myself up from scratch at the age of 12 ½. Had to tell stories, entertain my way to the driveway, to avoid getting beat up. It was like tap dancing in front of a machine gun.”
Western Australians, "learn to swim before we learn to read and write," says Winton. A surfer, he compares surfing to writing a novel. "Sit, wait, be attentive. Wait for the energy to meet me, then ride it to the beach." Writing, he says, is "a long game." In fact, it's mostly a kind of “fraught waiting.”
Tim Winton is an environmentalist and a citizen activist, but he doesn’t mix this with his writing.
“I don’t think novels are tools of persuasion. They’re tools of enchantment.”