What is the elusive quality that catches the eye of a book prize juror? Is it depth of character? Page-turning plot? Insight into the human condition?
The Guardian asked the 2016 nominees for the Man Booker Prize just how they wrote novels that ended up shortlisted for what is arguably the most prestigious writing award for English language books, and we wanted to share their responses with you.
Get inspired to get back to the novel in your digital desk drawer with these fascinating anecdotes from David Szalay, Deborah Levy, Paul Beatty (the winner of the 2016 prize), Ottessa Moshfegh, Graeme Macrae Burnet, and Canadian Madelein Thien, who certainly knows a thing or two about crafting a prize-worthy book, having just snagged the Scotiabank Giller Prize.
From riffing on the classic three-act structure to delving into character psychology, these acclaimed authors offer interesting insight on what drives them and how they created books that resonated so deeply with jurors and readers alike.