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If I had a plot that was all set in advance, why would I want go through the agony of writing the novel? A novel is a kind of exploration and discovery, for me at any rate.
In the traditional urban novel, there is only survival or not. The suburban idea, the conformist idea, that agony can be seen to and cured by doctors or psychoanalysis or self-knowledge is nowhere to be found in the city. Talking is a way of life, but it is not a cure. Same with religion.
If you're gonna use simile, analogy, metaphor, be descriptive and have some flowery adjectives and a few odd nouns and some engaging bits of dialogue or sentiment, then you're sort of writing a novel, really. But rock lyrics are not really known for their sophistication.
I would come, many years later, to understand why 'To Kill A Mockingbird' is considered 'an important novel', but when I first read it at 11, I was simply absorbed by the way it evoked the mysteries of childhood, of treasures discovered in trees, and games played with an exotic summer friend.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
It may sound very strange, but I love the freedom that writing a novel gives me. It is an unhindered experience. If I come after a bad day, I can decide that my protagonist will die on page 100 of my novel in a 350-page story.
It's hard being a hostage in somebody else's mouth - or a character in somebody else's novel.
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.
Nabokov, who I loved more than any other writer when I was young, had such contempt for dialogue. When I was younger, I never wrote a word of dialogue because of him. I thought it was a childish part of a novel.
The process of rewriting is enjoyable, because you're not in that existential panic when you don't have a novel at all.
Back in my 20s, when I wrote 'A Place of Greater Safety,' the French Revolution novel, I thought, 'I'll always have to write historical novels because I can't do plots.' But in the six years of writing that novel, I actually learned to write, to invent things.
I think every age has a medium that talks to it more eloquently than the others. In the 19th century it was symphonic music and the novel. For various technical and artistic reasons, film became that eloquent medium for the 20th century.
The rise to prominence of the Saudi novel in Arabic is the great man-bites-dog of recent world literature. Saudi Arabia is a country without a free press, where European styles and forms are distrusted and where the female half of the population became literate only in this generation.
I didn't feel the need for anonymous affection, for people in the dark applauding. To me, it would be like writing a novel and then getting up every night and reading your novel.
It's my own personal unconscious that ultimately creates the novel's aesthetic facade.
I think if you say that art and politics, or religion and politics, mustn't mix, don't mix, that is itself a political statement. Even if you are writing a 19th-century novel where the money comes from a plantation in the Caribbean and you don't talk about that, that itself is a political thing.
Successful fiction does not need to be validated by 'real life'; I cringe whenever a writer is asked how much of a novel is 'real'.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
After immersing myself in the mysteries of the Electoral College for a novel I wrote in the '90s, I came away believing that the case for scrapping it is less obvious than I originally thought.
My first novel, 'The Lions of Lucerne,' just poured out of me. It was an amazing feeling of accomplishment. My biggest fear and therefore my biggest obstacle to becoming an author had been, 'What if I spend all that time and the book is no good?'
'Goon Squad' took about three years to write and that's the short end. My second novel, 'Look at Me,' took six years.
To sing a song is quite different than to write a poem. I'm not and never will be a novelist, but to write a novel is not the same thing as writing a play. There is a difference in form, but essentially what you're after is the same thing.
Whenever you have two characters in a book, whether it's a novel or nonfiction, you run the risk that the reader is going to like one more than the other. They're going to read one chapter and say, 'I can't wait to get back to the other guy.'
The decision to use a pen name was nothing more than a desire to compartmentalise my life. However, I had not thought about an appropriate pseudonym, and since there's an abundance of anagrams in the novel, the idea struck me: why not use an anagram of my name? Hence, Shawn Haigins.
Screenwriting is a much more collaborative effort. When you write a novel, it's just you, with input from your editor.
My fellow students there were very smart, but the really novel thing was that they actually seemed to put a lot of effort into their school work. By the end of my first semester there, I began to get into that habit as well.
Eric Allin Cornell
Everyone thinks they're going to write one book of poems or one novel.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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