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A memoir is always the most authentic telling of a situation, but a novel gets to different places.
Being in a Chinese coal mine for 30 years is like an epic novel. It's tragic.
I wrote three mysteries and then a contemporary spy novel that was unbelievably derivative - completely based on 'The Conversation,' the movie with Gene Hackman. Amazingly, the character in the book looks exactly like... Gene Hackman.
If I'm a genre writer, I'm at the edge. In the end, they do work like genre fiction. You have a hero, there's a love interest, there's always a chase, there's fighting of some kind. You don't have to do that in a novel. But you do in a genre novel.
'The Levanter' features some of the strongest action scenes to be found in Ambler - who can, in some of his fiction, stay in one place for a whole novel.
Well, for people who want to write best sellers, the best advice I can give is to say that the novel has to engage the reader emotionally.
Finding my way into a novel is always half the battle.
I wrote my first novel in eighth grade for a boy named Kenny on whom I had an unrequited crush and who sat behind me in social studies.
There's a tradition in American fiction that is deadly serious and earnest - like the Steinbeckian social novel.
Writing in a near frenzy is wonderful and freeing, but for me, it did not result in a nice, shiny novel. Instead, what I have is a mess.
The novel succeeds on terms exclusive to literature. A good film succeeds on terms exclusive to the cinema. That's why so many bad novels can become good movies, like 'Jaws' or 'The Godfather.'
I never know what's going to happen in a novel. I don't have a plan or an outline.
A lasting marriage, they say, is one where the two reach for different sections of the Sunday paper. Me, I go right for the obituaries, just like those very elderly characters in Muriel Spark's spooky novel, 'Memento Mori.'
My poems tend to have rhetorical structures; what I mean by that is they tend to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. There tends to be an opening, as if you were reading the opening chapter of a novel. They sound like I'm initiating something, or I'm making a move.
The disappointing second novel is measured against the brilliant first novel - often no novel lives up to the first. Literary improvement seems like an unfair expectation.
Actually, I enjoy the process of writing a big long novel.
I strongly believe that the art of the novel works best when the writer identifies with whoever he or she is writing about. Novels in the end are based on the human capacity, compassion, and I can show more compassion to my characters if I write in a first person singular.
In a novel, it's hard to keep track of everybody.
A novel is a conversation starter, and if the author isn't there for the after-party, both the writer and the reader are missing a lot.
Comics seldom move me the way I would be moved by a novel or movie.
I'm a fictional monogamist - I can only work on one thing at a time - but each novel starts growing in my head when I'm about midway through the previous novel.
A friend of mine suddenly announced she had written a novel and got a publishing deal; I thought, 'Hang on... if she can do it, I can bloody well do it, too.' That novel went to a bidding war, and went on to be a huge best-seller.
In 'Open City,' there is a passage that any reader of Joyce will immediately recognise as a very close, formal analogue of one the stories in 'Dubliners.' That is because a novel is also a literary conversation.
Every novel generates its own climate, when you get going.
The novel moves like all the arts. It's transforming itself all the time.
Just because it's got a gun doesn't make it a crime novel, and just because there's a horse doesn't make it a western.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Image of the Moment
Those who are at war with others are not at peace with themselves.
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