English Literature KS3: Philip Pullman on his novels

Philip Pullman reveals some secrets of the art and craft of fiction writing.

He stresses the importance of stamina and determination because “writing a novel is a marathon and not a sprint”.

He explains how a writer must learn to step inside a scene to imagine what is seen and heard, and how he prefers not to plan a book in advance, but instead look forward to writing about what happens as events unfold and characters cross each others' paths.

To illustrate this point he reads a tense passage from The Amber Spyglass.

This clip is from the series How to Write.

Teacher Notes

Could be used when discussing creative writing and story telling or when discussing the works of Philip Pullman. Useful when discussing fantastical worlds, realism, fantasy and science fiction.

Curriculum Notes

This clip is relevant for teaching English Literature at KS3 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and 3rd and 4th Level in Scotland.