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Tag: novels

Factualism

Saul Bellow made some interesting comments about the novel in an interview with The Paris Review. Literal truth versus artistic licence. ‘Literalism, factualism,’ he said. ‘will smother the imagination altogether.’ Do we, as writers, attempt to recreate the physical world down to the minutest detail, or do we accept the limitations of this approach and opt for a more free-flowing…

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Work in progress

Why do we put pen to paper, or index fingers to keypads, to record our thoughts for posterity? Seeing as the vast majority of writers will never experience publication in any wider context, why bother in the first place? These questions have no real answers. The fact is, people write because they are driven to, compelled by some primeval force to unburden themselves…

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Publish and be damned?

All writers want to be in Waterstones shop window, now, today, this minute. One small obstacle stands between us and the realisation of a lifetime’s dream. Publishers. Today’s climate is not encouraging for the budding novelist, intent on seeing his work in print. Literary agents, those much maligned creatures who practise cunning evasion techniques to avoid dealing with the slush pile,…

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Time off for bad behaviour

Two weeks without a word commited to paper. Well, I have allowed myself the luxury of this blog. Otherwise, it’s the pauper’s equivalent of lounging by the pool with a fruit cocktail and a paperback, enjoying a brief hiatus from the frontline. Alas, these soujourns are not all they’re cracked up to be. Already I’m suffering. The novel that has consumed…

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Notes from the wood shed

You know what you want to say, but how do you find the right way to say it? Finding the voice is one of the many challenges in writing both fiction and non-fiction. Get it wrong and your project might end up being postponed or, worse still, abandoned altogether (147,ooo words is a huge chunk from anyone’s canon, but that’s…

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