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Well, you know, in any novel you would hope that the hero has someone to push back against, and villains - I find the most interesting villains those who do the right things for the wrong reasons, or the wrong things for the right reasons. Either one is interesting. I love the gray area between right and wrong.
I was very influenced by The Magic Mountain. It's a book that had a huge impact on me. I loved that as a shape for a novel: put a bunch of people in a beautiful place, give them all tuberculosis, make them all stay in a fur sleeping bag for several years and see what happens.
Women want love to be a novel, men a short story.
Daphne du Maurier
Let's put it this way: if you are a novelist, I think you start out with a 20 word idea, and you work at it and you wind up with a 200,000 word novel. We, picture-book people, or at least I, start out with 200,000 words and I reduce it to 20.
Life resembles a novel more often than novels resemble life.
The ear tends to be lazy, craves the familiar and is shocked by the unexpected; the eye, on the other hand, tends to be impatient, craves the novel and is bored by repetition.
W. H. Auden
I was once a graduate student in Victorian literature, and I believe as the Victorian novelists did, that a novel isn't simply a vehicle for private expression, but that it also exists for social examination. I firmly believe this.
I have a novel that I can write. It's about three soldiers from Somalia. Some babies have been disappearing up on 144th Street, and I speculate later on what happened to them and how they might have been got back. These guys are dead, all three, and they have a chance in the afterlife to do something they should have done when they were alive.
The manual for WordStar, the most popular word-processing program, is 400 pages thick. To write a novel, you have to read a novel - one that reads like a mystery to most people. They're not going to learn slash q-z any more than they're going to learn Morse code. That is what Macintosh is all about.
There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
W. Somerset Maugham
The atmosphere of orthodoxy is always damaging to prose, and above all it is completely ruinous to the novel, the most anarchical of all forms of literature.
In all seriousness, people think that it's the ideas that are important. Well, everyone has ideas, all the time. I tend to write mine down and remember them, but at some point you have to apply the bum to the seat and knock out about sixty five thousand words - that's how long a novel is.
I think the worst and most insidious procrastination for me is research. I will be looking for some bit of fact or figure to include in the novel, and before I know, I've wasted an entire morning delving into that subject matter without a word written.
Good fiction creates empathy. A novel takes you somewhere and asks you to look through the eyes of another person, to live another life.
Whenever I write a novel, music just sort of naturally slips in (much like cats do, I suppose).
Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.
How much energy is wasted in Italy in trying to write the novel that obeys all the rules. The energy might have been useful to provide us with more modest, more genuine things, that had less pretensions: short stories, memoirs, notes, testimonials, or at any rate, books that are open, without a preconceived plan.
You have to be practical. So every time I say, if you want to write a novel you have to be practical, people get bored. They are disappointed. They are expecting a more dynamic, creative, artistic thing to say. What I want to say is: you have to be practical.
Stories lie deep in our souls. Stories lie so deep at the bottom of our hearts that they can bring people together on the deepest level. When I write a novel, I go into such depths.
When you read a novel, your own imagery is the most important. It's what makes reading such a wonderful thing.
A novel is like a sausage. You might like the final taste but you don't want to see how it was made.
I wrote my first novel and my second novel in Chicago. It was the place where I became a writer. It's my favorite city.
I think escapism is very important, certainly in my life. I love nothing more than escaping into the world of a film or a novel. To be involved in creating that for other people is a privilege.
We never had books at home, but my dad, seeing how keen I was to read, took me to Islington Library when I was about eight and we pulled out two - a Biggles and a science fiction novel. I never got the ace fighter pilot but fell in love with all things to do with the future and space. Isaac Asimov soon became my guiding star.
Lionel Essrog, the twitching, barking, gabbling narrator of Jonathan Lethem's new novel, 'Motherless Brooklyn,' is no movie-of-the-week novelty grafted onto a noir mystery. Maybe his Tourette's is a gimmick, but it's a gimmick with depth, with soul.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
C. S. Lewis
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
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