Scott Turow Offers Novel Writing Advice: “Persistence Is Critical”

By Jason Boog Comment

In today’s installment of Media Beat, bestselling novelist and attorney Scott Turow recalled his early days as a struggling novelist before he published Presumed Innocent. He revisited those characters in his newest novel, Innocent.

He recalled his early failures as a novelist: “Presumed Innocent was written over a six to seven year period with intervals in between where I was figuring out the end of the book and writing other stuff … My life as a writer was carried on against the odds. I had written four unpublished novels by then … as a writer of fiction I hadn’t gotten very far. I just wanted to do it. It was my dream as a kid to be a novelist and I wanted to carry on with it. And I did. The truth of the matter is that the people who succeed in the arts most often are the people who get up again after getting knocked down. Persistence is critical.”

Turow also pondered writing another book about the hero of Presumed Innocent: “It’s not clear in my mind. It’s possible we will see Rusty again. His son Nat is 28 and an interesting fellow in his own right. We may see more of Nat. I don’t know right now. I write based on powerful inner impulses and those seem to shift over time.”

Part 1: Scott Turow Explains How Legal Writing Changed Since “Presumed Innocent”

Part 3: Scott Turow Ponders the Future of Publishing, Royalties, and Piracy

Media Beat is’s interview series with the movers and shakers of the media world. View all past episodes at