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You hear the best stories from ordinary people. That sense of immediacy is more real to me than a lot of writerly, literary-type crafted stories. I want that immediacy when I read a novel.
The final test for a novel will be our affection for it, as it is the test of our friends, and of anything else which we cannot define.
E. M. Forster
Nothing induces me to read a novel except when I have to make money by writing about it. I detest them.
'The Fourth Hand' was a novel that came from twenty years of screenwriting concurrently with whatever novel I'm writing.
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
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.
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.
Anybody can do research. The plotting of the novel, writing the ending before you write anything else, which I always do - I don't know that everybody can do that. That's the hard part.
I don't begin a novel or a screenplay until I know the ending. And I don't mean only that I have to know what happens. I mean that I have to hear the actual sentences. I have to know what atmosphere the words convey.
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.
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.
A novel that does not uncover a hitherto unknown segment of existence is immoral. Knowledge is the novel's only morality.
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
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 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.
The only obligation to which in advance we may hold a novel, without incurring the accusation of being arbitrary, is that it be interesting.
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.
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.
If a theme or idea is too near the surface, the novel becomes simply a tract illustrating an idea.
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.
Rohinton Mistry's celebrated novel 'Such a Long Journey' was pulled off the syllabus of Mumbai University because local extremists objected to its content.
John F. Kennedy
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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