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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.
Sir Walter, with his 61 years of life, although he never wrote a novel until he was over 40, had, fortunately for the world, a longer working career than most of his brethren.
Arthur Conan Doyle
In a novel, if you're any good, you don't just have good people or bad people. You have complicated people. You have real people.
If you write a book about a bygone period that lies east of the Mississippi River, then it's a historical novel. If it's west of the Mississippi, it's a western, a different category. There's no sense to it.
A novel that does not uncover a hitherto unknown segment of existence is immoral. Knowledge is the novel's only morality.
Great, big, serious novels always get awards. If it's a battle between a great, big, serious novel and a funny novel, the funny novel is doomed.
Sometimes, a novel is like a train: the first chapter is a comfortable seat in an attractive carriage, and the narrative speeds up. But there are other sorts of trains, and other sorts of novels. They rush by in the dark; passengers framed in the lighted windows are smiling and enjoying themselves.
Hemingway is terribly limited. His technique is good for short stories, for people who meet once in a bar very late at night, but do not enter into relations. But not for the novel.
W. H. Auden
Sometimes writing a novel is not unlike having a baby. You'd have to ask a female novelist to compare the pain.
The novel is the highest form of human expression so far attained. Why? Because it is so incapable of the absolute.
D. H. Lawrence
I can't understand why a person will take a year to write a novel when he can easily buy one for a few dollars.
'The Fourth Hand' was a novel that came from twenty years of screenwriting concurrently with whatever novel I'm writing.
If a theme or idea is too near the surface, the novel becomes simply a tract illustrating an idea.
Writing a novel is actually searching for victims. As I write I keep looking for casualties. The stories uncover the casualties.
The short story is still like the novel's wayward younger brother, we know that it's not respectable - but I think that can also add to the glory of it.
I suspect there are two kinds of novelists. Those who have a point of view and have something to say and then write a novel in order to say that thing, and those of us who write the book in order to find out what we think about that thing.
As a writer, one of the things we all learned from the movies was a kind of compression that didn't exist before people were used to watching films. For instance, if you wanted to write a flashback in a novel, you once had to really contextualize it a lot, to set it up. Now, readers know exactly what you're doing. Close-ups, too.
I think, in a written novel, the way in which you play with the readers' emotion or the way in which you engage the readers' emotions can be very indirect. You could come at it through irony or comedy, etcetera, and you could capture people's sympathies and feelings kind of by stealth if you like.
Personally, I'd never seen a graphic novel. I knew they existed because friends of mine like Jonathan Ross collect them and some very literate and intelligent people really rate the graphic novel as a form.
Human beings, you see, do absolutely two primary things. We see like and unlike. Like becomes, in literature, simile and metaphor. Unlike becomes uniqueness and difference, from which I believe, the novel is born.
Rohinton Mistry's celebrated novel 'Such a Long Journey' was pulled off the syllabus of Mumbai University because local extremists objected to its content.
I really want to write a novel. I also want to learn to play the mandolin.
Romance and novel paint beauty in colors more charming than nature, and describe a happiness that humans never taste. How deceptive and destructive are those pictures of consummate bliss!
And I don't want to begin something, I don't want to write that first sentence until all the important connections in the novel are known to me. As if the story has already taken place, and it's my responsibility to put it in the right order to tell it to you.
One of the humbling things about having written more than one novel is the sense that every time you begin, that new empty page does not know who you are.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
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