In this absorbing volume, acclaimed novelist David Lodge turns his incisive critical skills to his own profession, saluting the eminent practitioners of fiction who have influenced his writing, and explaining how literary and dramatic works are made and the many different factors that come into play in this process.The constant theme running through these essays is the mysterious process of creativity. Lodge discusses at length the work of writers he particularly admires - Graham Greene, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Henry Green, Kingsley Amis, Vladimir Nabokov, and Anthony Burgess. He addresses the situation of the contemporary novelist, both aesthetically and institutionally, and describes the pleasures of the novelistic text. In delineating the different techniques required to work on a novel and a screenplay, he draws on the experience of adapting his own Nice Work and Dickens's Martin Chuzzlewit for television, bringing a refreshingly expert candor to the problems that arise between the idea and the performance. The essays conclude with revealing extracts from the diary he kept as his play, The Writing Game, made its way to the footlights.Lodge's wit and intelligence are evident on every page of this entertaining and instructive volume, which should be of interest both to the practicing writer in any medium and to readers of Lodge who wish to know more about his own art.