Nabokov used to say that he pushed his characters around like serfs or chess pieces—he had no time for that metaphorical ignorance and impotence whereby authors like to say, “I don’t know what happened, but my character just got away from me and did his own thing. I had nothing to do with it.” Nonsense, said Nabokov, if I want my character to cross the road, he crosses the road. I am his master.
How Fiction Works, James Wood, pg. 116. Picador 2009
Nabokov Photo: Horst Tappe/Archive Photos