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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.
The Pacific Northwest, and particularly Whidbey Island, is extremely suited to be a location in a novel.
I always think I know the way a novel will go. I write maps on oversized art pads like the kind I carried around in college when I was earnest about drawing. I need to have some idea of the shape of the novel, where its headed, so that I can proceed with confidence. But the truth is my characters start doing and saying things I don't expect.
The impulse of the journalist is to be novel, yet to relate his curiosities to the urgencies of the moment; the philosopher seeks what he conceives to be true, regardless of the moment.
The Little Friend is a long book. It's also completely different from my first novel: different landscape, different characters, different use of language and diction, different approach to story.
The theory of founder effects does not explain how novel features like plumage traits arise.
Peter R. Grant
I teach a lecture course on American poetry to as many as 150 students. For a lot of them, it's their only elective, so this is their one shot. They'll take the Russian Novel or American Poetry, so I want to give them the high points, the inescapable poets.
My first and most loved real novel was 'Little Women.' I identified with the Jo character even though we were opposites. Jo was very strong-minded and brave, and I was shy and kind of a wuss, everyplace but in my own home. I wanted to be Jo. She was my alter ego. I think reading that book gave me courage.
The reason I love comics more than anything else is that the longest story will be just a few pages. With a novel, it takes so many pages to get to one thing happening.
The fundamental purpose of a novel like Count Julian is to achieve the unity of object and means of representation, the fusion of treason as scheme and treason as language.
I read a lot. I am an inveterate reader. I always have a novel going.
And you can tell the writers who do it - Robert Stone, for example, who with each new novel is doing something new. I appreciate that in other writers.
My first novel, 'You Lost Me There,' has been described as a beach read. Tough bracket, beach reads. There's not much room for mistakes when you're competing against the sun for a person's attention.
Write that novel. Start that business you've always wanted to. The ultimate high of life is the commitment to pursuing something.
What makes literature interesting is that it does not survive its translation. The characters in a novel are made out of the sentences. That's what their substance is.
I've been writing since I was about thirteen but didn't start a book until 2007. I spent four years writing a sci-fi novel before I wrote 'The Bone Season' at nineteen.
My English teachers gave me a copy of Atwood's 'The Handmaid's Tale' when I left high school, which has always been very special to me - it was the novel that introduced me to dystopian fiction. I'm also influenced by Edgar Allan Poe, Dickens, John Wyndham and Middle English dream-visions.
Whether we think of Disney's blonde beauty and her pumpkin carriage or Marissa Meyer's recent recasting of 'Cinderella' as a cyborg in the young adult novel 'Cinder,' we know that there are countless modern retellings of the tale.
It is so much hard work writing your first novel. You're not even sure that it is possible to do.
John F. Kennedy
Martin Luther King, Jr.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
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