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What I like about writing a stand alone novel is you're starting with a fresh world and fresh characters. Part of what I love about writing is that journey of discovery where it's all new to me as well.
When I write short fiction or novellas, I like to leave a hint of the fantastic, of the unreal. If you write a completely fantastic novel with ghosts and everything, the effect is less powerful than if you portray an absolutely realistic situation and, in the middle of this, you put a layer of fantasy, of mystery.
Antonio Munoz Molina
Everyone deserves to be the hero of a novel.
The function of the novel is the exploration of the human condition. Really, that's what it's all about.
I've always felt that the traditional novel doesn't give you enough information about the narrator, and I think it's important to know the point of view from which these tales are told: the moral makeup of the teller.
W. G. Sebald
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.
I traveled to Ireland to research 'Sandcastles,' to visit the coastline where my ancestors looked toward America, the tiny town they once loved so much, and the docks from which they sailed toward their dreams of building a better life for their family. The answers I found on that journey are woven through the novel.
I liked teaching Henry James. When you look down at a Henry James novel from a helicopter height, you find an intricate spider web that all clings together.
When I meet someone who I really admire, I enjoy nothing more than trying to connect with them and asking them about their career. I want to know who the people are behind the performances and how they relate to their performances. But it's maybe not as novel as it once was.
Novels aren't pedagogical instruments, or instructions in law or physics or any other discipline. A novel has to be an emotional experience, a trip of the imagination, and because science has raised so many issues that concern and affect humans, it's a good starting place for me.
I always find the first thing that really bothers me when I start a screenplay is, I have to find a different form. You can't follow the form of the novel. It's a different thing completely. It's impossible. You just somehow have to find a structure for the whole thing. You have to crack that.
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Working on a green screen set, yeah, it's almost like reading from a novel, taking those black words and creating a world around you.
The short story seems like the best of all possible worlds. I do feel it is closer to writing poetry than to writing a novel, with its requirements of concentration and economy.
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.
Divorce in a young-adult novel means what being orphaned meant in a fairy tale: vulnerability, danger, unwanted independence.
I'm ashamed to admit this, but I didn't read a novel all the way through until after high school. Blasphemy, I know. I'm an author now. Books and words are my world.
Matt de la Pena
Although when I start a novel I know how it will begin and end, I like to let the people within the story take me on a journey between those points without having a fixed plan.
Don't force yourself to write. Some people can write a novel in a few months, whereas for others it can take over a year. I'm lucky to be one of the former - but, even so, if I'm not in the mood to write, I won't. I'll go off, do something else and come back to it when I'm ready.
Writing a novel is easier than writing a memoir; you are not constrained by the truth.
Cartoonists create so many cartoons on any given topic that we can follow the life cycle of a comic idea and how it evolves over time more quickly than we can with a form like the novel.
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.
A novel is a collision of ideas. Three or four threads may be floating around in the writer's consciousness, and at a single moment in time, these ideas collide and produce a novel.
A novel can do something that films and TV usually can't - a glimpse inside the characters' heads. I write very tight third person point of view, so the reader is right behind the eyes of each character, seeing what they see and feeling what they feel.
It was my angry, Dickensian novel, I suppose. It was cathartic - I expended a lot of frustration on that one.
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.
John F. Kennedy
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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