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How to Write a Book in Three Days: Lessons from Michael Moorcock →

"In the early days of Michael Moorcock’s 50-plus-years career, when he was living paycheck-to-paycheck, he wrote a whole slew of action-adventure sword-and-sorcery novels very, very quickly, including his most famous books about the tortured anti-hero Elric. In 1992, he published a collection of interviews conducted by Colin Greenland called Michael Moorcock: Death is No Obstacle, in which he discusses his writing method. In the first chapter, “Six Days to Save the World”, he says those early novels were written in about “three to ten days” each, and outlines exactly how one accomplishes such fast writing.”

— 1 year ago with 319 notes
#Michael Moorcock  #Writing tips  #Writing Advice  #Novels 
Top 10 Novel-Writing Politicians
1) Matthew LewisOne of the earliest examples of a novel written by a British MP, this is proof that there is a bit of the devil in many a politician. Lewis was the Member for Hindon in Wiltshire and the infamous author of The Monk, the most shocking novel of the age: a Gothic thriller involving necrophilia, transvestisism, murder, sexual obsession and a guest appearance by Satan.
2) Iain Duncan SmithAnd talking of the devil … political defeat often brings out the creative side of our would-be rulers, so we should not be surprised that in 2003 the former Tory leader published a novel, The Devil’s Tune. It might have been less easy to predict that this would be a thriller, involving the international art trade, TV journalists, exotic locations and a villain with a Nazi past.
3) Benjamin Disraeli‘When I want to read a novel I write one’, declared Disraeli, who has the reputation of being the only British politician who has ever written novels that were any good. Like most politician-novelists, he turned his hand to fiction out of a pressing need for money.
4) Winston ChurchillChurchill was given the Nobel prize for literature in 1953, but the commendation did not mention his novel Savrola, A Tale of the Revolution in Laurania, published half a century earlier. Much influenced by Anthony Hope’s bestsellerThe Prisoner of Zenda, but without any of its entertaining characteristics,Savrola is the story of an imaginary land with parallels to Britain. The righteous Savrola leads the struggle against an autocratic ruler. He wins.
5) Chris MullinAn expensive BBC dramatisation gave credibility to Mullin’s A Very British Coup, a paranoid yarn, written in the days when the MP for Sunderland South was a simple leftie. A Labour government is swept into power on a popular mandate with a left-wing leader, so the powers that be fix a military coup to ensure (with American assistance) that Thatcherism is pursued despite the electorate’s wishes.
6) Jimmy CarterAs you might expect, the ex-President’s foray into fiction - The Hornet’s Nest - is a serious and hugely self-serious undertaking, a big historical novel set in Georgia and the Carolinas during America’s revolutionary war.
7) Newt Gingrich… And if that were not enough, from the Republican side we get a rival historical blockbuster: the former speaker of the house of representatives published Gettysburg in 2003. This narrates in minute detail the decisive campaign of the American civil war.
8) Edwina CurrieA Parliamentary Affair was but the first of Currie’s six novels, and (daringly) published long before her affair with John Major was made public. It follows four Tory MPs who plot to advance their political ambitions and risk all for sexual passion.
9) Gary HartWe all remember how Gary Hart looked set for the Democratic nomination until his extra-marital shenanigans were revealed. Less well reported in Britain is his career as a novelist, sometimes under the nom de plume John Blackthorn. The most recent of these is the fearlessly tilted I, Che Guevara, a political thriller in which a mysterious exile returns to Cuba to take over power from Castro. It is Che himself, who has been reading classical philosophy and now embraces non-violence.
10) Anne WiddecombeYou cannot say that the MP for Maidstone’s fiction ducks the tricky issues. Her first novel, The Clematis Tree, centred on euthanasia (and you might have been able to infer that the novelist was against it). She has since written three more, apparently finding that the muse visits her during long train journeys.
by John Mullan Via
From Writers Write

Top 10 Novel-Writing Politicians

1) Matthew Lewis
One of the earliest examples of a novel written by a British MP, this is proof that there is a bit of the devil in many a politician. Lewis was the Member for Hindon in Wiltshire and the infamous author of The Monk, the most shocking novel of the age: a Gothic thriller involving necrophilia, transvestisism, murder, sexual obsession and a guest appearance by Satan.

2) Iain Duncan Smith
And talking of the devil … political defeat often brings out the creative side of our would-be rulers, so we should not be surprised that in 2003 the former Tory leader published a novel, The Devil’s Tune. It might have been less easy to predict that this would be a thriller, involving the international art trade, TV journalists, exotic locations and a villain with a Nazi past.

3) Benjamin Disraeli
‘When I want to read a novel I write one’, declared Disraeli, who has the reputation of being the only British politician who has ever written novels that were any good. Like most politician-novelists, he turned his hand to fiction out of a pressing need for money.

4) Winston Churchill
Churchill was given the Nobel prize for literature in 1953, but the commendation did not mention his novel Savrola, A Tale of the Revolution in Laurania, published half a century earlier. Much influenced by Anthony Hope’s bestsellerThe Prisoner of Zenda, but without any of its entertaining characteristics,Savrola is the story of an imaginary land with parallels to Britain. The righteous Savrola leads the struggle against an autocratic ruler. He wins.

5) Chris Mullin
An expensive BBC dramatisation gave credibility to Mullin’s A Very British Coup, a paranoid yarn, written in the days when the MP for Sunderland South was a simple leftie. A Labour government is swept into power on a popular mandate with a left-wing leader, so the powers that be fix a military coup to ensure (with American assistance) that Thatcherism is pursued despite the electorate’s wishes.

6) Jimmy Carter
As you might expect, the ex-President’s foray into fiction - The Hornet’s Nest - is a serious and hugely self-serious undertaking, a big historical novel set in Georgia and the Carolinas during America’s revolutionary war.

7) Newt Gingrich
… And if that were not enough, from the Republican side we get a rival historical blockbuster: the former speaker of the house of representatives published Gettysburg in 2003. This narrates in minute detail the decisive campaign of the American civil war.

8) Edwina Currie
A Parliamentary Affair was but the first of Currie’s six novels, and (daringly) published long before her affair with John Major was made public. It follows four Tory MPs who plot to advance their political ambitions and risk all for sexual passion.

9) Gary Hart
We all remember how Gary Hart looked set for the Democratic nomination until his extra-marital shenanigans were revealed. Less well reported in Britain is his career as a novelist, sometimes under the nom de plume John Blackthorn. The most recent of these is the fearlessly tilted I, Che Guevara, a political thriller in which a mysterious exile returns to Cuba to take over power from Castro. It is Che himself, who has been reading classical philosophy and now embraces non-violence.

10) Anne Widdecombe
You cannot say that the MP for Maidstone’s fiction ducks the tricky issues. Her first novel, The Clematis Tree, centred on euthanasia (and you might have been able to infer that the novelist was against it). She has since written three more, apparently finding that the muse visits her during long train journeys.

by John Mullan Via

From Writers Write

— 1 year ago with 8 notes
#Politicians  #Novels  #Lit 
National Novel Writing Month 
National Novel Writing Month is a fun approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on 1 November.
The goal is to write a 50,000-word novel by 11:59:59 PM on 30 November.
NaNoWriMo values enthusiasm and perseverance over craft. It is an opportunity for everyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.
In 2011 there were 256,618 participants. 36,843 writers finished 50K words by the midnight deadline. They started the month as dreamers. They walked away as novelists.
How NaNoWriMo Works
Facts and Stats
History
NaNoWriMo in the News
Media Kit
Published NaNoWriMo Novelists
Image
Follow on Facebook

National Novel Writing Month 

National Novel Writing Month is a fun approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on 1 November.

The goal is to write a 50,000-word novel by 11:59:59 PM on 30 November.

NaNoWriMo values enthusiasm and perseverance over craft. It is an opportunity for everyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.

In 2011 there were 256,618 participants. 36,843 writers finished 50K words by the midnight deadline. They started the month as dreamers. They walked away as novelists.

How NaNoWriMo Works

Facts and Stats

History

NaNoWriMo in the News

Media Kit

Published NaNoWriMo Novelists

Image

Follow on Facebook

— 1 year ago with 108 notes
#Writing  #Books  #Novels  #NaNoWriMo  #Education  #Writers Write 
10 YA Novel to Film Adaptations That Kept Their Edgeby Molly Horan
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyPerhaps it’s because the film was both written and directed by Chbosky himself, but it sticks pretty close to the book, and the result is a labor of love that doesn’t shy away from the realities — sexuality, drugs, unrequited longing, mixtapes — of being a teenager. Maybe it’s because we’re older now, but we almost found watching the story unfold on the big screen a more intense and upsetting experience than reading the book — in a good way. In fact, it was originally given an R rating and had to appeal the verdict to secure a more teen-friendly PG-13.
The Outsiders by S.E. HintonSome would debate how much edge S.E. Hinton’s classic novel had to begin with. Yes, it features a fatal stabbing, a large-scale gang fight, and the general feeling that its young characters could break out a weapon at any time, but it also has a protagonist reciting poetry and holding a Gone with the Wind story time. Still, by the end of the film, three teens have met violent ends, a pretty high body count for teen flick outside of the slasher section.
Speak by Laurie Halse AndersonThis made-for-TV movie didn’t shy away from the subject that made Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel so powerful; not only is its fourteen-year-old protagonist raped at a house party, but after her shaky call to the cops brings out a swarm of police ready to bust the underage drinkers, she becomes completely ostracized by her former friends and new classmates. A pre-Twilight Kristen Stewart plays the part perfectly, capturing the pain, isolation, and confusion of a teen with a serious secret and no one to talk to.
It’s Kind of A Funny Story by Ned VizziniAny novel or movie that starts with a high schooler’s attempted suicide is bound to be dark, though the semi-autobiographical book by Ned Vizzini is more hopeful than you might expect. The film wraps up almost too neatly for all the issues it raises about mental illness, but like the book, it tempers its happy ending with the reminder that a stay in the psych ward didn’t erase the protagonist’s problems, just gave him the tools to deal with them.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsWhile it could be said the quick shots purposefully kept the gore off-screen in the adaptation of the first book in Suzanne Collins trilogy, the audience was still made painfully aware that children were dying at the hands of children. Even more important to the film’s edge was its portrayal of Katniss, and the movie succeeded in keeping her an incredibly strong, stoic protagonist.
Rumble Fish by S.E. HintonAnother film based on a S.E. Hinton novel, this movie has much of the same violence tempered with poetic ideas, though this time the love of literature in a seemingly tough main character is replaced with a love and respect for animals. Like The Outsiders, the film ends on a slightly hopeful, yet bloody note.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants I and II by Ann BrasharesThe Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants didn’t have much of an edge to begin with, but the kind of topics that could get it placed on the banned book table, like suicide and teen sex, remained intact in the film version. Its sequel stepped things up with a pregnancy scare and even more attention given to the suicide of one girl’s mother. While both films are essentially sleepover movies, they do a good job at handling the material they have.
Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David LeviathanThe 2008 adaptation of this novel, about two teens running around Manhattan and eventually falling for each other, didn’t shy away from anything showing teens drinking, having sex, and making all around poor decisions. Plus, maybe it’s just all the Kat Dennings, but this film definitely felt as cool as the book — we bought it hook, line and sinker.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts I and II by J.K. RowlingWhile most critics say the Potter films started getting an edge with The Prisoner of Azkaban (and the advent of director Alfonso Cuarón instead of Chris Columbus), the series’ final two films truly amped up the dark mood, in keeping with the books. The adaptations made no attempt to gloss over the deaths the main characters witnessed or the weight of the responsibility they faced. They were so heavy at times that it was easy to forget you were watching teenagers.
Youth in Revolt by C.D. PayneIt’s hard to believe a film carried by Michael Cera could have much edge to speak of, but it turns out all it takes to turn Mr. Cera into an arsonist and ladies man is a pencil mustache. This movie was able to retain the book’s sweetness about first love without sacrificing its edgier content.
via Flavorwire

10 YA Novel to Film Adaptations That Kept Their Edge
by Molly Horan

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Perhaps it’s because the film was both written and directed by Chbosky himself, but it sticks pretty close to the book, and the result is a labor of love that doesn’t shy away from the realities — sexuality, drugs, unrequited longing, mixtapes — of being a teenager. Maybe it’s because we’re older now, but we almost found watching the story unfold on the big screen a more intense and upsetting experience than reading the book — in a good way. In fact, it was originally given an R rating and had to appeal the verdict to secure a more teen-friendly PG-13.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Some would debate how much edge S.E. Hinton’s classic novel had to begin with. Yes, it features a fatal stabbing, a large-scale gang fight, and the general feeling that its young characters could break out a weapon at any time, but it also has a protagonist reciting poetry and holding a Gone with the Wind story time. Still, by the end of the film, three teens have met violent ends, a pretty high body count for teen flick outside of the slasher section.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
This made-for-TV movie didn’t shy away from the subject that made Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel so powerful; not only is its fourteen-year-old protagonist raped at a house party, but after her shaky call to the cops brings out a swarm of police ready to bust the underage drinkers, she becomes completely ostracized by her former friends and new classmates. A pre-Twilight Kristen Stewart plays the part perfectly, capturing the pain, isolation, and confusion of a teen with a serious secret and no one to talk to.

It’s Kind of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
Any novel or movie that starts with a high schooler’s attempted suicide is bound to be dark, though the semi-autobiographical book by Ned Vizzini is more hopeful than you might expect. The film wraps up almost too neatly for all the issues it raises about mental illness, but like the book, it tempers its happy ending with the reminder that a stay in the psych ward didn’t erase the protagonist’s problems, just gave him the tools to deal with them.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
While it could be said the quick shots purposefully kept the gore off-screen in the adaptation of the first book in Suzanne Collins trilogy, the audience was still made painfully aware that children were dying at the hands of children. Even more important to the film’s edge was its portrayal of Katniss, and the movie succeeded in keeping her an incredibly strong, stoic protagonist.

Rumble Fish by S.E. Hinton
Another film based on a S.E. Hinton novel, this movie has much of the same violence tempered with poetic ideas, though this time the love of literature in a seemingly tough main character is replaced with a love and respect for animals. Like The Outsiders, the film ends on a slightly hopeful, yet bloody note.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants I and II by Ann Brashares
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants didn’t have much of an edge to begin with, but the kind of topics that could get it placed on the banned book table, like suicide and teen sex, remained intact in the film version. Its sequel stepped things up with a pregnancy scare and even more attention given to the suicide of one girl’s mother. While both films are essentially sleepover movies, they do a good job at handling the material they have.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Leviathan
The 2008 adaptation of this novel, about two teens running around Manhattan and eventually falling for each other, didn’t shy away from anything showing teens drinking, having sex, and making all around poor decisions. Plus, maybe it’s just all the Kat Dennings, but this film definitely felt as cool as the book — we bought it hook, line and sinker.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts I and II by J.K. Rowling
While most critics say the Potter films started getting an edge with The Prisoner of Azkaban (and the advent of director Alfonso Cuarón instead of Chris Columbus), the series’ final two films truly amped up the dark mood, in keeping with the books. The adaptations made no attempt to gloss over the deaths the main characters witnessed or the weight of the responsibility they faced. They were so heavy at times that it was easy to forget you were watching teenagers.

Youth in Revolt by C.D. Payne
It’s hard to believe a film carried by Michael Cera could have much edge to speak of, but it turns out all it takes to turn Mr. Cera into an arsonist and ladies man is a pencil mustache. This movie was able to retain the book’s sweetness about first love without sacrificing its edgier content.

via Flavorwire

— 1 year ago with 43 notes
#YA  #Films  #Novels  #Lit  #Adaptations 
10 Novels That Deserve a Prequel by Emily Temple1. The Road by Cormac McCarthyMcCarthy’s bleak post-apocalyptic trek never answers the question that was tugging at us the entire time — what happened to the world? Though we’re not sure we exactly want to know, we think a book about the slow destruction of the world written by McCarthy would be terrible and harrowing and perfect.2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldWe hear Gatsby’s origin story — more or less — in the novel, but now that we’re over the reveal, we’d definitely read an entire book about it. All that bootlegging, class struggle and forbidden romance is sure to make for a rip-roaring novel.3. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerMost characters Holden Caulfield’s age don’t need an origin story (they are the origin story), but with this fellow we still have questions we want answered. Maybe it’s just the story of that elusive and departed Allie Caulfield, whose story, not to mention his thoughts, might shine some deliciously satisfying light on his elder brother. Plus, it’d be a tragedy, and we love those.4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken KeseyRandle Patrick McMurphy is a hero (or anti-hero, jury’s still out) for the ages, and we’ve always felt that we didn’t get enough of him trapped in that mental institution. We’d love a novel spanning a few years of McMurphy free in the wild world, getting into more kinds of trouble than we can even imagine.5. Moby-Dick by Herman MelvilleCome on, don’t you want to know what happened to little Ahab to make him such a crazed megalomaniac? There’s the leg and all, sure, but how was his relationship with his father? Just wondering.6. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace ThackerayThackeray’s novel begins at the end of Becky Sharp and Amelia Sedley’s tenure at Miss Pinkerton’s Academy for Young Ladies — huge mistake, as far as we’re concerned. We love the idea of Becky a tough academy for girls, sneaking about and engaging in social warfare. After all, she clearly picked all up those dubious social skills somewhere…7. The Giver by Lois LowryWe would kill to read the story of the first Giver, the one who was there at the moment when the world decided it couldn’t bear its own knowledge and feelings any longer and had to pile them into one person alone. Now that’s some serious angst.8. A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan DoyleYou know you want to see what Sherlock Holmes was like in high school. We’re imagining it kind of like Gossip Girl, but with better pranks and even wittier repartee.9. No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthyAgain with the origin stories (and again with McCarthy), we know, but we’d be fascinated to read about what the sociopathic Anton Chigurh was like as a younger man — where did his brutal, strange code and near complete lack of empathy come from? Has he ever been in love? These are questions worth exploring.10. Brave New World by Aldous HuxleyThough Huxley plunges us into the future, we’d be interested in a prequel somewhere between here and there — if only so we can know what to look out for. Plus, we think such an unstable, transitional world might make for a lot of drama, not to mention end badly.
Via Flavorwire

10 Novels That Deserve a Prequel by Emily Temple

1. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
McCarthy’s bleak post-apocalyptic trek never answers the question that was tugging at us the entire time — what happened to the world? Though we’re not sure we exactly want to know, we think a book about the slow destruction of the world written by McCarthy would be terrible and harrowing and perfect.

2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
We hear Gatsby’s origin story — more or less — in the novel, but now that we’re over the reveal, we’d definitely read an entire book about it. All that bootlegging, class struggle and forbidden romance is sure to make for a rip-roaring novel.

3. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Most characters Holden Caulfield’s age don’t need an origin story (they are the origin story), but with this fellow we still have questions we want answered. Maybe it’s just the story of that elusive and departed Allie Caulfield, whose story, not to mention his thoughts, might shine some deliciously satisfying light on his elder brother. Plus, it’d be a tragedy, and we love those.

4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
Randle Patrick McMurphy is a hero (or anti-hero, jury’s still out) for the ages, and we’ve always felt that we didn’t get enough of him trapped in that mental institution. We’d love a novel spanning a few years of McMurphy free in the wild world, getting into more kinds of trouble than we can even imagine.

5. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
Come on, don’t you want to know what happened to little Ahab to make him such a crazed megalomaniac? There’s the leg and all, sure, but how was his relationship with his father? Just wondering.

6. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
Thackeray’s novel begins at the end of Becky Sharp and Amelia Sedley’s tenure at Miss Pinkerton’s Academy for Young Ladies — huge mistake, as far as we’re concerned. We love the idea of Becky a tough academy for girls, sneaking about and engaging in social warfare. After all, she clearly picked all up those dubious social skills somewhere…

7. The Giver by Lois Lowry
We would kill to read the story of the first Giver, the one who was there at the moment when the world decided it couldn’t bear its own knowledge and feelings any longer and had to pile them into one person alone. Now that’s some serious angst.

8. A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
You know you want to see what Sherlock Holmes was like in high school. We’re imagining it kind of like Gossip Girl, but with better pranks and even wittier repartee.

9. No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
Again with the origin stories (and again with McCarthy), we know, but we’d be fascinated to read about what the sociopathic Anton Chigurh was like as a younger man — where did his brutal, strange code and near complete lack of empathy come from? Has he ever been in love? These are questions worth exploring.

10. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Though Huxley plunges us into the future, we’d be interested in a prequel somewhere between here and there — if only so we can know what to look out for. Plus, we think such an unstable, transitional world might make for a lot of drama, not to mention end badly.

Via Flavorwire

— 1 year ago with 635 notes
#Lit  #Novels 
"The novel was forbidden in the Spanish colonies by the Inquisition. The inquisitors considered this literary genre, the novel, to be as dangerous for the spiritual faith of he Indians as for the moral and political behavior of society and, of course, they were absolutely right. We novelists must be grateful to the Spanish Inquisition for having discovered before any critic did the inevitable subversive nature of fiction. The prohibition included reading and publishing novels in the colonies. There was no way naturally to avoid a great number of novels being smuggled into our countries; and we know, for example, that the first copies of Don Quixote entered America hidden in barrels of wine. We can only dream with envy about what kind of experience it was in those times in Spanish America to read a novel—a sinful adventure in which in order to abandon yourself to an imaginary world you had to be prepared to face prison and humiliation."
Mario Vargas Llosa
— 1 year ago with 21 notes
#quotes  #novels  #Lit  #Banned books 
The Top 10 Best Opening Lines Of Novels1. Cat’s Eye, Margaret Atwood, 1998“Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space.”2. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury, 1953“It was a pleasure to burn.”3. Gone With The Wind, Margaret Mitchell, 1936“Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.”4. The Gunslinger, Stephen King, 1982“The man in Black fled across the Desert, and the Gunslinger followed.”5. The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien, 1937“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.6. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov, 1955“Lolita. Light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul.”7. Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides, 2002“I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.”8. Peter and Wendy, J. M. Barrie, 1911“All children, except one, grow up.”9. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, 1813“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”10. Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut, 1969“All this happened, more or less.”
by Meredith Borders via LitReactor

The Top 10 Best Opening Lines Of Novels
1. Cat’s Eye, Margaret Atwood, 1998
“Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space.”
2. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury, 1953
“It was a pleasure to burn.”
3. Gone With The Wind, Margaret Mitchell, 1936
“Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.”
4. The Gunslinger, Stephen King, 1982
“The man in Black fled across the Desert, and the Gunslinger followed.”
5. The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien, 1937
“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.
6. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov, 1955
“Lolita. Light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul.”
7. Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides, 2002
“I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.”
8. Peter and Wendy, J. M. Barrie, 1911
“All children, except one, grow up.”
9. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, 1813
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”
10. Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut, 1969
“All this happened, more or less.”

by Meredith Borders via LitReactor

— 1 year ago with 8833 notes
#Lit  #Opening Lines  #Novels  #Fiction 
Twelve Ways to Tell if your Novel is Dead
Your novel is dead if:
12.  you’ve written three hundred pages, but you wrote the last one in 2009.11.  you’ve forgotten your characters’ names.10.  you keep promising to get back to it.9.  when you do get back to it, you mess around with the font.8.  you’ve just bought another book on how to write a novel.7.  you’re still trying to figure out how Hemingway did it.6.  you’re browsing online for just the right chair.5.  you’ve just opened a Twitter account.4.  you’ve begun thinking that, well, at least you’ve got your health.3.  when you’re watching The Godfather, Part II and Michael Corleone says, “Fredo, you’re dead to me now,” you think immediately of your novel.2. the novel you haven’t started yet sounds more interesting.1. just before Thanksgiving you swore to get back to it right after New Years.  And exactly what are you doing right now?
Article
Image

Twelve Ways to Tell if your Novel is Dead

Your novel is dead if:

12.  you’ve written three hundred pages, but you wrote the last one in 2009.
11.  you’ve forgotten your characters’ names.
10.  you keep promising to get back to it.
9.  when you do get back to it, you mess around with the font.
8.  you’ve just bought another book on how to write a novel.
7.  you’re still trying to figure out how Hemingway did it.
6.  you’re browsing online for just the right chair.
5.  you’ve just opened a Twitter account.
4.  you’ve begun thinking that, well, at least you’ve got your health.
3.  when you’re watching The Godfather, Part II and Michael Corleone says, “Fredo, you’re dead to me now,” you think immediately of your novel.
2. the novel you haven’t started yet sounds more interesting.
1. just before Thanksgiving you swore to get back to it right after New Years.  And exactly what are you doing right now?

Article

Image

— 2 years ago with 21 notes
#writing  #lit  #advice  #novels 
Story Questionnaire →

100 questions to ask before you start writing your novel.

1. Who is your main character? Hero? Anti-hero?
2. Why should we be interested in them?
3. What attracts you to your protagonist? Do you like them? Loathe them?
4. Why do you need to write about them?
5. Why should we be excited about them?
6. Why do you believe we will find your hero sympathetic? Empathetic?
7. What makes us curious about them? What is their “mystery”? What is their “magic”? Charisma? How do you show it?
8. What does the audience find in the main character’s story that is relevant to them? Why do you believe they will identify with them?
9. What is the cherished secret desire of your main character?
10. Do we laugh at your hero, feel amused by them, or do we admire them?
11. What do we hope for?
12. What are we afraid of?
13. What is the worst thing that could (and hopefully will) happen to your hero?
14. What is the most favorable, brightest moment that they will experience in the story?
15. What are they going to lose if they don’t find a way to overcome the adversities?
16. Why can’t your characters get what they crave?
17. How can you make the obstacles – inner or exterior – more insurmountable?
18. How can you make the threat, the danger, more excruciating, agonizing, humiliating? Who can do that? Why should they?
19. Why can’t your characters live at peace with their conscience, respect themselves if they don’t get what they so passionately want?
20. And: what is it that your characters want (consciously and tangibly)?
21. On the other hand: what do your characters need (on the emotional, subconscious level)?
22. How can you make the temptations more irresistible and the stakes higher?
23. What can you do to eliminate the audience’s disbelief in the initial situation or collision (willing suspension of disbelief)?
24. Is there a deadline (time pressure) for the action to come to a resolution? Could there be? Who can create it?
25. When and how do your main characters realize that they are in trouble and that they must extricate themselves?
26. What are the alternatives you can imagine? How can the problem be solved?
27. But why is it impossible? Who or what makes the solution unattainable?
28. Can the predicament be evaded? What would happen if it were? Who makes the evasion impossible?
29. Can the complication be ridiculed, ignored, forgotten? Make sure that it cannot!
30. Can it be solved peacefully on friendly terms? Who will impair it?
31. Who are the supporting characters your main character can rely upon?
32. Who are the supporting characters your protagonist hopes to get on their side?
33. What doesn’t your hero anticipate, know about?
34. What does your hero – falsely – expect that won’t happen?
35. Who are the supporting characters who are a threat, who try to humiliate, stop, ridicule, or destroy your hero’s plans? Do they know about the secret desires that your hero cherishes?
36. What are their plans? What tactics do they use? What mimicry, what subterfuge? How do they try to mislead, misdirect, confuse the main character?
37. What are their hopes, desires, dreams? What do they want and need?
38. How do they rationalize their moves?
39. How can their stubbornness, hatred, rage, damaged self-esteem, ambition be fueled? What can help them to feel righteous in their actions?
40. Will the audience understand why your characters act as they do?
41. When does the audience get to know your characters’ particular intentions, desires, hopes, and fears?
42. How can the next step that your protagonist makes lead to the unexpected result? What’s the miscalculation?
43. What did the counter player do? How did the circumstances change?
44. How can the goal be made more desirable? Who can do that?
45. What can create the hesitations, doubts, or scruples in the character’s mind?
46. Try to imagine all the places, locations, sites that your character can enter in pursuit of their objective or evasion of the danger. Aren’t there some more interesting situations there? More contradictory?
47. How can the locales make the story and the specific scenes or sequences more dramatic, more complicated and difficult (therefore, more revealing) for the characters?
48. Make a list of possible events that can happen believably and plausibly in your chosen environment and a list of possible events that would be unusual, out of routine, and order. Do you see which ones will work best?
49. What are the emotions, conclusions, and decisions that result from the setback, failure, or complication?
50. What emotions does the insult, mistreat, injustice evolve? What danger, what abyss becomes visible for the viewer that the hero doesn’t see?
51. What are our expectations now? What do we hope for? What do we wish the characters would do? Why can’t they do it?
52. What doesn’t the main character know? What is the error, intentional blunder?
53. Do the antagonists mobilize their forces? Do they set a trap? Do they try to confuse the main character?
54. What are the social reasons for their actions? Do they come with accusations? Direct lies? Do they outwit the main character? How?
55. Does the hero panic? Feel alarmed? Insecure? Horrified from the realization of what could happen?
56. And what happens that helps the protagonist? On the other hand, what can help the antagonist?
57. What characters can act as catalysts that can alter and increase the reactions of the antagonist or protagonist?
58. What character (or characters) can go through a similar plight and find a different solution – compromise, assimilation, rejection etc.?
59. What relationships become threatened, broken up, or suddenly transformed?
60. What consequences of the previous actions can aggravate the situation?
61. What are the places your characters don’t want to go? Are afraid to go? How do you force them there?
62. What is the prevailing mood/tone of the whole story? Does the environment have a face, character, and temperament?
63. Does the time period reflect on the environment? How? What expresses it besides costumes, props, architecture and means of transportation and communication? How does it reflect our human attitudes, habits, customs, social events, rituals, and language?
64. Are the events sufficiently important and impressionable? Do they help to elucidate the life style, engagement, and involvement of your protagonist?
65. Does the main hero show naiveté, weakness? Disbelief? Re-evaluate everything?
66. Do your hero regret? Recriminate? Seek conciliation? Reject the original plans?
67. Did you exhaust all the possibilities of self-assurance, shrewdness, and foresightedness that your hero can possess?
68. Did you give your antagonists a chance to show their intelligence, vigilance, and alertness?
69. What precautions do your characters take? Do they look for advice? For help?
70. What new plans do they come up with? How do they acquire new courage? What or who can suggest a new stratagem for them?
71. How does your hero study the adversary? Does your protagonist discover the weakness of the antagonist? Or are they wrong in their assumption? What trap can both sides set?
72. How can they attack each other? How can your hero test the enemy?
73. How does inner turmoil grow in their minds? How does it embitter the antagonism?
74. What do you feel is the rhythm of the story? Does the tempo of the main action accelerate?
75. What can interrupt, temporarily stop, misdirect, or confuse the growing conflict?
76. Are the chances for the desired resolution and for the despised outcome equal?
77. What is the moment that the viewer becomes ultimately curious about?
78. What does the audience impatiently expect?
79. What doesn’t the audience realize will happen when the moment comes?
80. Is the resolution becoming inevitable? What could reverse the course of the action? Did the hero try all the possible ways and means and find out what they inevitably lead to?
81. What hopes still remain for the main character?
82. What are the most feared confrontations that the protagonist tries – in vain, obviously – to avoid, postpone, deny?
83. What is the most humiliating, painful extremity your hero will experience?
84. What is the moment when your antagonist feels triumphant?
85. How can you increase the adversary’s determination not to give up, not to show any restrain, to fight to the bitter end?
86. How can bad – or good – timing heighten the stakes (too early, too late, speeding up the plans, etc…)?
87. When does the hero realize the inevitability of the outcome? Can an appeal be made to the antagonist’s better nature?
88. Can the fear of shame or disgrace of losing one’s face be used?
89. How did the circumstances change to make the outcome more weighty, impressive, convincing?
90. Does anybody admit the errors?
91. Does anybody plead, beg forgiveness, or confess?
92. Is anybody willing to give up?
93. Is anybody trying to escape?
94. Does anybody feel shame, disgrace, insecurity, betraying one’s most cherished principles?
95. Does anybody feel terror stricken of being exposed?
96. Is there a rescue for any of the adversaries? Is this possible? For what price?
97. Is there a moment when a conscience stricken character realizes the consequences of their actions, sees themselves truly and rightly, and tries to stop the inevitable?
98. What is the last thing the main character finds out about?
99. What does “victory” mean after the whole story is over?
100. How should the viewer/audience feel when the story ends?

Via The Script Lab

— 2 years ago with 153 notes
#writing  #novels  #lit  #books 
The Myth of Writer's Block →


If you write one page a day you will complete a 365-page novel in a year.

You are crippling yourself by not starting to write. If it seems an overwhelming task to write a whole book, start with an opening paragraph, then a page, then a chapter. Your first sentence is the first step to being published.

Most people who want to write have the belief in their creative success systematically driven out of them – by the business world, by their family, their ‘friends’ and their life experiences.

If you were told you were going to die tomorrow, would you regret not having written?

These are the most common excuses we hear at Writers Write.

Family: I have children. I’m the family taxi. I have to be there for my husband/wife.

Work: I work long hours. I’m too tired after a day at the office. We need a new car / bigger house.

Time: I’m too busy. I’ll do it tomorrow / next month / next year. I can’t write late at night / early in the morning.

General: I’m not inspired. I’m too old/young. I’m too tired/depressed/sick. 

Our Favourite: It’s not what you know but who you know in publishing

 You can have your book or you can have your excuses. You can’t have both.

All of the above are obviously important but don’t fool yourself, writers write; pretenders to the throne make excuses. The reasons for not writing are laziness and lack of self-discipline.

Do you really want to become a writer?

Writing is lonely. Writing is hard work. Writing is discipline. There is no quick fix and there is no one to applaud or to criticize you. You will be your own boss and you will have to motivate and reward yourself. And after all of this you will face the possibility of rejection – the dedicated writer will not stop here.

Remember: You have permission to write badly. (In your first drafts, of course)

By Amanda Patterson, founder of Writers Write – How to Write a Book 

— 2 years ago with 72 notes
#writing  #writer's block  #lit  #novels 
"To me, everything in a novel comes down to people making choices. You must figure out in advance what those choices are going to be."
Marion Zimmer Bradley
— 2 years ago with 12 notes
#fiction  #novels  #quotes  #lit