Romance novels are birthday cake and life is often peanut butter and jelly. I think everyone should have lots of delicious romance novels lying around for those times when the peanut butter of life gets stuck to the roof of your mouth.
You don't read Gatsby, I said, to learn whether adultery is good or bad but to learn about how complicated issues such as adultery and fidelity and marriage are. A great novel heightens your senses and sensitivity to the complexities of life and of individuals, and prevents you from the self-righteousness that sees morality in fixed formulas about good and evil.
Life is painful and disappointing. It is useless, therefore, to write new realistic novels. We generally know where we stand in relation to reality and don’t care to know any more.
It was only after two years' work that it occurred to me that I was a writer. I had no particular expectation that the novel would ever be published, because it was sort of a mess. It was only when I found myself writing things I didn't realise I knew that I said, 'I'm a writer now.' The novel had become an incentive to deeper thinking. That's really what writing is—an intense form of thought.
A novel is never anything but a philosophy expressed in images. And in a good novel the philosophy has disappeared into the images.
I ran across an excerpt today (in English translation) of some dialogue/narration from the modern popular writer, Paulo Coelho in his book: Aleph.(Note: bracketed text is mine.)... 'I spoke to three scholars,' [the character says 'at last.'] ...two of them said that, after death, the [sic (misprint, fault of the publisher)] just go to Paradise. The third one, though, told me to consult some verses from the Koran. [end quote]' ...I can see that he's excited. [narrator]' ...Now I have many positive things to say about Coelho: He is respectable, inspiring as a man, a truth-seeker, and an appealing writer; but one should hesitate to call him a 'literary' writer based on this quote. A 'literary' author knows that a character's excitement should be 'shown' in his or her dialogue and not in the narrator's commentary on it. Advice for Coelho: Remove the 'I can see that he's excited' sentence and show his excitement in the phrasing of his quote.(Now, in defense of Coelho, I am firmly of the opinion, having myself written plenty of prose that is flawed, that a novelist should be forgiven for slipping here and there.)Lastly, it appears that a belief in reincarnation is of great interest to Mr. Coelho ... Just think! He is a man who has achieved, (as Leonard Cohen would call it), 'a remote human possibility.' He has won lots of fame and tons of money. And yet, how his preoccupation with reincarnation—none other than an interest in being born again as somebody else—suggests that he is not happy!
A novel must show how the world truly is, how characters genuinely think, how events actually occur. A novel should somehow reveal the true source of our actions.
The moon will guide you through the night with her brightness, but she will always dwell in the darkness, in order to be seen.
Ivanov: And this whole romance of ours is commonplace and trite: he lost heart, and he lost his way. She came along, strong and brave in spirit, and gave him an helping hand. That's all very well and plausible in novels, but in life...Sasha: In life it's the same.Ivanov: I see you have a fine understanding of life!
Poetry, plays, novels, music, they are the cry of the human spirit trying to understand itself and make sense of our world.
If you only write when you’re inspired you may be a fairly decent poet, but you’ll never be a novelist because you’re going to have to make your word count today and those words aren’t going to wait for you whether you’re inspired or not.You have to write when you’re not inspired. And you have to write the scenes that don’t inspire you. And the weird thing is that six months later, a year later, you’ll look back at them and you can’t remember which scenes you wrote when you were inspired and which scenes you just wrote because they had to be written next.The process of writing can be magical. …Mostly it’s a process of putting one word after another.
Spilling a Secret What its size, will have varying consequences. It’s not possible to predict what will happen if you open the gunnysack, let the cat escape. A liberated feline might purr on your lap, or it might scratch your eyes out. You can’t tell until you loosen the knot. Do you chance losing a friendship, if that friend’s well-being will only be preserved by betraying sworn-to silence trust? Once the seam is ripped, can it be mended again? And if that proves impossible, will you be okay when it all falls to pieces?
God is going to send you someone that will rescue you. Then one day you will rescue them in return and together your story will rescue others. He has always been a God of rescues and a maker of warriors for his grace. You only need to believe that you are part of something greater than you know.
A short story is a love affair, a novel is a marriage. A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film.
No one says a novel has to be one thing. It can be anything it wants to be, a vaudeville show, the six o’clock news, the mumblings of wild men saddled by demons.
Writing a novel is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay. I'm always irritated by people who imply that writing fiction is an escape from reality. It is a plunge into reality and it's very shocking to the system.
I write to find strength.I write to become the person that hides inside me.I write to light the way through the darkness for others.I write to be seen and heard.I write to be near those I love.I write by accident, promptings, purposefully and anywhere there is paper. I write because my heart speaks a different language that someone needs to hear.I write past the embarrassment of exposure.I write because hypocrisy doesn’t need answers, rather it needs questions to heal. I write myself out of nightmares.I write because I am nostalgic, romantic and demand happy endings.I write to remember.I write knowing conversations don’t always take place.I write because speaking can’t be reread.I write to sooth a mind that races.I write because you can play on the page like a child left alone in the sand.I write because my emotions belong to the moon; high tide, low tide.I write knowing I will fall on my words, but no one will say it was for very long.I write because I want to paint the world the way I see love should be.I write to provide a legacy.I write to make sense out of senselessness.I write knowing I will be killed by my own words, stabbed by critics, crucified by both misunderstanding and understanding. I write for the haters, the lovers, the lonely, the brokenhearted and the dreamers.I write because one day someone will tell me that my emotions were not a waste of time. I write because God loves stories.I write because one day I will be gone, but what I believed and felt will live on.
If you haven't cried at least once while writing a chapter of your inspirational book, then you have to ask yourself if your're writing fiction.
It has been well said that an author who expects results from a first novel is in a position similar to that of a man who drops a rose petal down the Grand Canyon of Arizona and listens for the echo.
I read anything that’s going to be interesting. But you don’t know what it is until you’ve read it. Somewhere in a book on the history of false teeth there’ll be the making of a novel.
We all dream dreams of unity, of purity; we all dream that there's an authoritative voice out there that will explain things, including ourselves. If it wasn't for our longing for these things, I doubt the novel or the short story would exist in its current form. I'm not going to say much more on the topic. Just remember: In dictatorships, only one person is really allowed to speak. And when I write a book or a story, I too am the only one speaking, no matter how I hide behind my characters.
Formerly I believed books were made like this: a poet came, lightly opened his lips, and the inspired fool burst into song – if you please! But it seems, before they can launch a song, poets must tramp for days with callused feet, and the sluggish fish of the imagination flounders softly in the slush of the heart. And while, with twittering rhymes, they boil a broth of loves and nightingales, the tongueless street merely writhes for lack of something to shout or say
When I work, I'm just translating the world around me in what seems to be straightforward terms. For my readers, this is sometimes a vision that's not familiar. But I'm not trying to manipulate reality. This is just what I see and hear.
The main question to a novel is -- did it amuse? were you surprised at dinner coming so soon? did you mistake eleven for ten? were you too late to dress? and did you sit up beyond the usual hour? If a novel produces these effects, it is good; if it does not -- story, language, love, scandal itself cannot save it. It is only meant to please; and it must do that or it does nothing.
Novels for me are how I find out what's going on in my own head. And so that's a really useful and indeed critical thing to do when you do as many of these other things as I do.
The best thing to do is to loosen my grip on my pen and let it go wandering about until it finds an entrance. There must be one – everything depends on the circumstances, a rule applicable as much to literary style as to life. Each word tugs another one along, one idea another, and that is how books, governments and revolutions are made – some even say that is how Nature created her species.
After reading Edgar Allan Poe. Something the critics have not noticed: a new literary world pointing to the literature of the 20th Century. Scientific miracles, fables on the pattern A+ B, a clear-sighted, sickly literature. No more poetry but analytic fantasy. Something monomaniacal. Things playing a more important part than people; love giving away to deductions and other forms of ideas, style, subject and interest. The basis of the novel transferred from the heart to the head, from the passion to the idea, from the drama to the denouement.
I'm a writer by profession and it's totally clear to me that since I started blogging, the amount I write has increased exponentially, my daily interactions with the views of others have never been so frequent, the diversity of voices I engage with is far higher than in the pre-Internet age—and all this has helped me become more modest as a thinker, more open to error, less fixated on what I do know, and more respectful of what I don't. If this is a deterioration in my brain, then more, please.The problem is finding the space and time when this engagement stops, and calm, quiet, thinking and reading of longer-form arguments, novels, essays can begin. Worse, this also needs time for the mind to transition out of an instant gratification mode to me a more long-term, thoughtful calm. I find this takes at least a day of detox. Getting weekends back has helped. But if there were a way to channel the amazing insights of blogging into the longer, calmer modes of thinking ... we'd be getting somewhere.I'm working on it.