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I wrote the first draft of my first novel at Michigan, and then I wrote the first draft of 'Salvage the Bones' at Stanford. So I workshopped the entire thing.
Publishers send me a lot of first novels because my first novel was the defining novel of my career, and I guess a lot of people want my benediction or something.
After college, I was living in New York and wrote furiously, a huge novel that I knew was a failure. I hoped that the book would work, but to be honest, I think I knew it would never work, even as I was finishing it.
What's fun about a dystopian novel is that we can enjoy and be entertained. But that world is only slightly different, right? It's familiar enough to be recognizable, and skewed enough to give us pause.
I think the problem with the term graphic novel is it sounds pompous, it sounds pretentious, whereas on the continent, they call it an album, which to me sounds, it's got more much of a connotation of a kind of a music single and an album collection.
I read John Irving's novel 'The World According To Garp' when I was about 14 or 15. It was the first grown-up book that I had read. It is the story of a young man who grows up to be a novelist. I finished it, and I wanted to write a book that made the reader feel the way I felt at the end of that, which was sort of both bereft and elated.
A novel should be an experience and convey an emotional truth rather than arguments.
I started writing short stories. I tried writing horror, mystery, science fiction. I joined a little critique group here in town and ran my stories past them. After about three years, I tackled my first novel, Subterranean. It took me 11 months to write.
I'm a great believer in gathering together all your obsessions and seeing if you can make a novel out of them.
The surprise with which a detective novel concludes should set up tragic vibrations which run backward through the entire structure.
As a romance novelist, I have a rather skewed view of babies. You see, they don't typically fit into the classic structure of the romance novel - romance is about two people finding each other and falling in love against insurmountable odds. Babies... well... babies are complicated.
At the heart of every successful romance novel lies the evolution of its characters. Through love, heroes and heroines grow not only into a perfect match, but into stronger, better, more admirable people.
A novel wouldn't be a book if there weren't some flights of fancy on the part of the author, stopping time to examine things, or to tell a joke.
I have no doubt that 'On the Road' is a Great American Novel. But I'm also certain my students will do fine without it.
I want to write more books, see my first novel made into a film, fight more campaigns, work in more countries. I want to be able to recall experiences that have endured for their pleasure and range and intensity.
I was writing an earnest novel about cruises in the Caribbean and I just started writing 'Bridget Jones' to get some money, to finance this earnest work, and then I chucked it out.
The characters you refer to as predatory and unsavory are useful. They're the ones who make a novel into a thriller. They're active, and most of the common virtues, the signs of a good person, are not.
The fact that I have always been deeply invested in politics, and African politics in particular, inevitably played a role in my first novel and, of course, in my decision to write about a handful of particular conflicts in Africa as a journalist.
To me, the ultimate crime in an adaptation is the crime of reverence. A novel is one form of media, a screenplay is another, and a movie is yet another. There's even reverence to a screenplay.
I believe that the short story is as different a form from the novel as poetry is, and the best stories seem to me to be perhaps closer in spirit to poetry than to novels.
Perhaps that is why the novel flourished in England. You had these communities that would stay put and people would see one another all the time and cause one another to change and have the opportunity to observe the changes over time.
People think that because a novel's invented, it isn't true. Exactly the reverse is the case. Biography and memoirs can never be wholly true, since they cannot include every conceivable circumstance of what happened. The novel can do that.
HBO and I have a deal to at least try to make a television series from the Leonid McGill stories. We're going to start with the first novel, 'The Long Fall.'
Maybe they'll start making serialized movies. I watched the first couple seasons of '24' and it's really fun. I bought the DVD and watched it over a month or so and it's great. It's like reading a novel. It has a lot of possibilities that are more difficult to accomplish with a film.
I'm not sure that it's possible to write a novel about people who don't transgress or stumble, people who don't surprise themselves with the things they do, people who can explain all their actions with perfect logical consistency. At least it's not possible for me to write that sort of novel.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
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