Ken Follett on Writing the Love Stories in The Pillars of the Earth
Here's one: A mason loses his job because of a canceled wedding and has to look for work. Here's another: A nobleman's daughter refuses to marry someone she can't love. Here's a third: An impressionable girl finds the survivor of a shipwreck and bears him a son.
Each one of those cracks grows, splitting and expanding into chasms able to engulf people we care about, whichever way they turn—obstacles that even love and courage might not surmount. The rougher their road, the more steadfast fictional lovers must be as, inevitably, the author sets yet another complication in their way. But the more challenges they face and conquer, the more the audience cheers and supports them. And when our lovers reach their final destination, be it wealth and glory or just hearth and home, and the music swells or the book closes, that audience sits back in satisfaction, exhausted, exhilarated and glad to have shared that journey. And who knows? They might well do it again!
Previous blog: Turning The Pillars of the Earth into a Movie
Next blog: A lesson in cathedral building
More about The Pillars of the Earth
Everything you need to know about The Pillars of the Earth miniseries
Your Pillars of the Earth reading guide
Oprah interviews Ken Follett