The Novelry Blog
Where the writers are.
From the Desk of Emylia Hall.
The writer Thomas Mann said, ‘A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.’
I love the recognition of process and perfectionism in Mann’s words – not the crippling kind of perfectionism, mind, but the sort that makes us strive to be better. He’s unapologetically playing to the insider – in the style of Louis Armstrong’s line ‘If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know’. Each and every writer at work knows how increasingly difficult it seems to get.
So, what do we do then, when we hit the hard bits? Well, understanding that it’s tough for everyone – whether you’re writing for the first time, or you’re a seasoned novelist – certainly helps. And, so too, does giving thought to the psychology behind some of our personal approaches to the process; while we might not be able to control the publishing destiny...
From the Desk of Kate Riordan:
For some of you, the notion of writing a series is enough to bring you out in a cold sweat (I don’t know if I can finish ONE yet!). For others, especially those writing in certain genres, a series might well be a better bet than a stand-alone. Readers of fantasy, as well as children’s and detective fiction, among others, are totally accustomed to investing their time (and money) in a series. And, as a writer, if you can get them hooked on book one, you’ve got an almost guaranteed sale for book two, and so on. In a career with very little security or certainty, the possibility of signing a three or four book deal is pretty alluring. But before you jump in, there is much to consider.
As I see it, there are roughly two different types of series: the sort of epic story which is so complex and sprawling that it requires telling across multiple volumes (think George R. R. Martin’s fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire), and the...
You’re likely all familiar with the ‘getting ready the night before’ routine that takes place ahead of a big day. You pack a lunch, and hang your outfit on the back of the bedroom door, and you squeeze your new notebook into a bag (alongside my laptop perhaps, a myriad of coloured pens and - of course - a mask!).
I am doing all of these things right now because tomorrow will be my very first day in a new job. I will become, officially and after weeks of waiting, your Editorial Director at The Novelry.
I know that you’ve all been here a while, writing brilliant books and sharing your stories, and I hope you won’t mind squidging up and creating a little space on the bench. I know that there will be plenty for me to learn from you over the coming months and years, and I hope that you’ll learn something from me too.
I have worked - and still work! - as both a writer and an editor, and I hope you won’t mind me taking this...
From the Desk of Rachel Edwards.
I am between novels. This was to be an open-ended rest, but it has already become a pregnant pause. Despite myself, I have begun gestating: ripening with seeded notions; pulsing with poetry and plot; hoping to nourish a cluster of characters with vital, fluid ideas; contemplating the long labour ahead to deliver what so many call a ‘book baby’.
My second novel, Lucky, has just come out, on 24th June 2021. A moment’s elation, then a feeling of being spent. I am lighter, unburdened.
Then again, drop writing fiction for too long and I might feel untethered. As I hold the hardback reality of my book in my hands, I already glimpse another hovering, a shadow on the periphery of my imagination. ‘Too soon?’
You tell me.
With my debut, Darling, I flung myself headlong into writing it after my characters started to whisper, then, in the run-up to the EU Referendum, to shout. Their haranguing was enough of a catalyst to...
The closed circle is a beloved sub-genre of mystery, suspense and thriller fiction.
It refers to a crime, usually a murder, for which there are a limited number of suspects, each with credible means, motive, and opportunity. The criminal (murderer) is one of the people present at or nearby the scene, and the crime could not have been committed by some outsider. The detective has to solve the crime, figuring out the criminal from this pool (circle) of suspects, rather than searching for a totally unknown perpetrator.
From the Desk of Lucy Foley.
My favourite Agatha Christie novel – and possibly my favourite murder mystery of all time – is And Then There Were None. There’s the tight plotting, the wonderfully awful cast of love-to-hate characters, the sheer astonishing brilliance of the reveal. But first and foremost for me is the closed circle setting. The island is a menacing, deadly presence from the outset. It’s that idea of the...
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