How I write: David Hare


David Hare is a playwright and film-maker. He has written over thirty stage plays which include Plenty, Pravda (with Howard Brenton), The Secret Rapture, Racing Demon, Skylight, Amy’s View, The Blue Room, Via Dolorosa, Stuff Happens and The Judas Kiss. For film and television he has written twenty-five screenplays which include Licking Hitler, The Hours, The Reader, and the Worricker Trilogy: Page Eight, Turks & Caicos and Salting the Battlefield. His first work of memoir The Blue Touch Paper was published in 2015.

What time of day do you write?

Nine o’clock till lunch weekdays when it goes badly; nine till five weekdays when it goes well.

Do you remember the first time someone described you as “a writer”

My first review ever was in Plays and Players. “The most pointless evening I have ever spent in a theatre”. I knew I was a writer then.

Where do you find inspiration?

In the outside world.

Do you ever abandon a writing project?

I grow plays under the stairs for many years, but they all blossom eventually. Nothing’s wasted.

How do you organise your writing time?

If it’s a play I just write. If it’s a film, I have to go out and defend the script. Interminably.

Where is your favourite place to write?

My studio

What do you do when you feel stuck?

You get bored with being stuck, and so you are determined to end the boredom

How do you know when a play is finished?

When intelligent actors can’t find any more questions to ask. The greatest moment in playwriting is when the actors take it out of your hands.

Read more of the How I write series.