The Creative Writing Blog

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Welcome to The Novelry blog. Your first stop for all things to do with novel writing. Peruse the articles to troubleshoot your writing problems and get that novel done! Happy writing!

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Fear of Plotting Jun 04, 2017

Almost every one of my writers tells me that plotting is their concern. 

The Novelry has a no-nonsense approach to plotting.: stop it, and write!

Some writers do prepare an outline and some don’t. I think more writers across all genres don't prepare a detailed plot than do. It's a received idea that thriller writers must work to a plot. Yet even someone like Stephen King avoids plotting.

"I start a book ... knowing just two things: the basic situation and that the story will create its own patterns naturally and organically if I follow it fairly...and by fairly I mean never forcing characters to do things they wouldn't do in real life...For me, the first draft is all about story. I trust that some other part of me—an undermind—will create certain patterns."

Instead, he chooses pace of creation, writing his first drafts of novels in a season or ninety days. 

I prepare a rough plot outline and then I ignore it. I work out what I’m doing in draft after...

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Me & Coetzee May 20, 2017

I read Disgrace by JM Coetzee in the year 2001 when I was living in New York. I had written two books; flops. Disgrace focused my intentions. It became apparent to me that there were heights almost unattainable that could only be reached by careful, quiet, slow work.

Writing with The Slow Man

During the nine months of my last pregnancy I sat at my desk in Brooklyn overlooking the garden every morning and wrote. At night I read either Chekhov, Carver or Coetzee; most likely the latter. I broke my routine on September the 11th when my husband called me downstairs and we watched the news on the television then went outside and from our brownstone stoop saw the second plane hit the Twin Towers.

My daughter was born at the end of November. I'd finished the book a couple of days before. In the spring I sent the book to agents, then it went to publishers. Happy days.

After it was published, I sent it to John Coetzee in Australia.

He replied.

It was a breathless moment to stand...

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