A glimpse at one of the American writer's manuscripts
Philip Roth discusses his writing process in a collection of interviews published by The Paris Review (via The Elegant Variation):
INTERVIEWER: You spoke of the last phase of writing a novel being a “crisis” in which you turn against the material and hate the work. Is there always this crisis, with every book?
ROTH: Always. Months of looking at the manuscript and saying, “This is wrong—but what’s wrong?” I ask myself, “If this book were a dream, it would be a dream of what?” But when I’m asking this I’m also trying to believe in what I’ve written, to forget that it’s writing and to say, “This has taken place,” even if it hasn’t. The idea is to perceive your invention as a reality that can be understood as a dream. The idea is to turn flesh and blood into literary characters and literary characters; into flesh and blood.
from The Paris Review: Interviews IV