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What greatly annoys me is sometimes you see the short story being described as a training ground for the novel. Kind of like an apprenticeship. And in lots of ways, it's a far harder form.
Every novel presents a slice of life. A noir policier for example presents one slice, one that perhaps addresses social dysfunction or some sort of pathology, while mine present a slice that is more upbeat and affirmative.
Alexander McCall Smith
I didn't fit the typical profile of a trader. I was an English major working on a novel at night. Most everyone else was a maths or economics major; most everyone else had relatives or family in banking.
I like to take certain aspects of genre fiction and modify them in my own way. 'Your Republic Is Calling You' follows the form of a spy novel, but it leads readers into a world of Kafkaesque irrationality.
I had a novel in the back of my mind when I won an Ian St James story competition in 1993. At the award ceremony an agent asked me if I was writing a novel. I showed her four or five chapters of what would become 'Behind the Scenes at the Museum' and to my surprise she auctioned them off.
I knew I'd have to go to work in real estate or something else or I could never finish my novel.
There are two ways to write a werewolf novel - you can examine the genre conventions, or you can say, 'What would it be like if I were a werewolf?'
When I read 'Watchmen,' it changed my view of so many things. It was the first time I'd read a graphic novel really like that.
I wrote a novel about the combat experiences I didn't have in Vietnam.
We've been hearing about the death of the novel ever since the day after Don Quixote was published.
I love the novel because it's like a love affair. You can just fall into it and keep going, and you never know where it's going to take you.
But The Same Sea is set precisely in this Israel, which never makes it to the news headlines anywhere. It is a novel about everyday people far removed from fundamentalism, fanaticism nationalism, or militancy of any sort.
A good novel doesn't just transcend the boundaries of its target market - it knows nothing about target markets.
I wrote 'Airborn' after completing three books about bats. I loved my bats, but what a treat it was to write about humans again. They could eat food other than midges and mosquitoes, they wore clothing, they slept in beds - all this struck me as wonderfully novel.
'The Lake of Dreams' grew gradually, over many years, elements and ideas accruing until they gained enough critical mass to become a novel.
No matter how ephemeral it is, a novel is something, while despair is nothing.
Mario Vargas Llosa
I am obsessed with story. I had a late awakening in life. In college was the first time that I understood what you could do with a story and what a good novel is - literary value and subtext and irony and everything.
My first novel was a challenge to myself. No one had an inkling that I was working on it.
What I want is to respond to the challenge posed by the mass media - to permit the novel to say what can only be said by narrative - to allow it to be itself.
I read everything. I'll read a John Grisham novel, I'll sit and read a whole book of poems by Maya Angelou, or I'll just read some Mary Oliver - this is a book that was given to me for Christmas. No particular genre. And I read in French, and I read in German, and I read in English. I love to see how other people use language.
A novel, in the end, is a container, a shape which you are trying to pour your story into.
The novel that's contemporary in the sense of being wholly 'of now' is an impossibility, if only because novels may take years to write, so the 'now' with which they begin will be defunct by the time they're finished.
Writing a novel is not at all like riding a bike. Writing a novel is like having to redesign a bike, based on laws of physics that you don't understand, in a new universe. So having written one novel does nothing for you when you have to write the second one.
I think predictability is built into any good novel in some way - you begin reading Anna Karenina and you know pretty much what's going to happen at the end. But that doesn't mean you know what's going to happen in the middle. For me, it's that sense of what happens in the middle that's important.
My first novel, 'The Tiger's Daughter,' embodies the loneliness I felt but could not acknowledge, even to myself, as I negotiated the no man's land between the country of my past and the continent of my present.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
C. S. Lewis
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