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Perhaps, more importantly, I think that most human beings realise only a fraction of the true potential of their minds, so the spiritual or mystical, the things which remain mysterious or unexplained have always drawn me to include them in any scheme for a novel.
I am a former newspaper reporter turned church secretary turned vampire novelist. I wrote my first complete novel, 'Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs,' at night while I was working as the receptionist for a Baptist church. That was an interesting conversation with the pastor.
'One Hundred Years of Solitude' convinced me to drop out of Harvard graduate school. The novel reminded me of everything my Ph.D. program was trying to make me forget. Thank you, Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
When one is writing a novel in the first person, one must be that person.
Daphne du Maurier
I think 'Gatsby' is hobbled, in part, by its status as a Great American Novel. People kind of roll their eyes before they've even opened it, treat it with a 'been there, done that' attitude. I know I did. It took me years to re-open the novel and see how much I'd missed.
I was in a peacetime army. It was like something out of a Le Carre novel: studying the habits of your enemy. It was very exciting. It's interesting living life as a civilian, then on Friday night you're parachuting into a foreign country.
A journalist also needs to be disciplined, and so do I. I am, essentially, lazy. Without discipline I'd be just a mass of gummy bears on the sofa instead of on book tour with my eighth novel.
A great novel is concerned primarily with the interior lives of its characters as they respond to the inconvenient narratives that fate imposes on them. Movie adaptations of these monumental fictions often fail because they become mere exercises in interior decoration.
I had a strong propensity, which I still have, to be invisible. In grade school, I'd try to disappear and become formless. I lived in a very imaginary world. I loved poetry and wrote my first novel when I was 9. It was about a little girl and the people she met in the woods.
I use the setting of a small rural Norwegian community - the kind of place that I know so intimately. I could never write a novel set in a big city, because, frankly, I don't know what it would be like.
Novels written by university professors and set in the groves of academe are far more rigidly predictable than anything but the most routine science fiction novel, but they have escaped the stigma of being labeled as genre.
Each time I write a new piece, whether a novel, a picture book, a speech or anything, really, it has so much to do with what I'm going through personally or a problem I'm trying to work out. When I wrote my novel 'Baby,' my three children had all just gone out the door.
My paintings have gotten to be pretty popular and I've taken a little bit more interest in painting the last few years. In fact, my novel that I wrote not too long ago, 'The Hornet's Nest,' I painted the cover picture for it and I do a good bit of painting now.
I always rewrite the very beginning of a novel. I rewrite the beginning as I write the ending, so I may spend part of morning writing the ending, the last 100 pages approximately, and then part of the morning revising the beginning. So the style of the novel has a consistency.
Joyce Carol Oates
If it takes you seven years to write each novel, you need a patron. And I would rather have my corporate self as my patron than any arts council or bestower of grants.
I have to know the killer, the victim and the motive when I begin. Then I start to create the characters and see how the novel takes shape based on what these people are like.
The novel is about, for me, sustained and organized looking. I do think that people have a hunger for a sustained engagement, that concentration that the book can offer.
It's true that immigrant novels have to do with people going from one country to another, but there isn't a single novel that doesn't travel from one place to another, emotionally or locally.
The great thing about using the past is that it gives you the most colossal freedom to invent. The research is necessary, of course, but no one writes a novel to dramatically illustrate what everybody already knows.
The book that made a lasting impression was the one my mother gave each of us when she decided we were ready for our first 'adult novel,' Lucy Maud Montgomery's 'The Blue Castle.'
When I started out, I didn't have any writing routine, I had a job. Writing was a hobby I indulged in over the weekends or in the evening when I wasn't too knackered, watching TV, reading a book, or up the pub. I only ever started counting words upon discovering, in John Braine's 'Writing a Novel,' that this might be a professional approach.
The novel avoids the sublime and seeks out the interesting.
In a novel you have to resist the urge to tell everything.
J. K. Rowling
A novel is a mirror carried along a main road.
It's the technique, I think, of writing a novel that is difficult for a nonfiction writer.
E. O. Wilson
John F. Kennedy
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