The Novelry Blog

Where the writers are.

 
Finishing a Novel Dec 16, 2018

As you write that last chapter, the temptation is very strong to share some of it. That's when you need a good friend, or better a bad one, or far, far better a fellow writer to tell you -

HELL NO! Hold fire.

Finishing a novel is an emotional moment. Cue Chariots of Fire music.

"Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the back yard and shot it." Truman Capote.

"After writing a story I was always empty and both sad and happy, as though I had made love, and I was sure this was a very good story although I would not know truly how good until I read it over the next day." Ernest Hemingway.

“I moved, looking for a cigarette. They were in my hand. I lit one. In a moment, I thought, I will say something. I will say something and then I will walk out of this room forever.” James Baldwin, Giovanni's Room.

Oh, the joy of the morning walk before you head to the desk to write that ending! You can see the shining faces of those characters of yours,...

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Start at the Middle of your Novel. Dec 02, 2018

If you're about to write a novel, start with the midpoint. That's the place to begin to build your world around.

The midpoint is the point of no return in the story, where the character undergoes a crisis, enlightenment cracks the shutters. The main character begins to wake up to the the qualities necessary to reverse the misfortune or pursue the action of the book through to a resolution she or he can live with and accept. 

This is the point in the story at which the main character is most challenged and at their lowest. It speaks volumes about your true intentions for the book.

You may not be clear about these at first draft - I am usually a little in the dark - but locating the belly button will help you sort out 'what the hell is this book really about.' The idea is developed in John Yorke's book Into The Woods as a convention axiomatic to the development of screenplays.

'The midpoint in our change paradigm corresponds to the moment of Vogler's 'supreme ordeal'... the...

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Gertrude Stein & Ernest Hemingway Nov 25, 2018

 

The Second Writing Session - the End of the Day.

As our members know, one of our practical methods is dubbed 'The Two Pedals.' A writing machine (that's you the novelist) comes with two pedals - writing and reading. When one runs out of juice, you turn to the other.

Our method at The Novelry is to show you how to write a novel in one hour a day, and we have you walk the talk for 90 days with The Ninety Day Novel course. We show you how to harness the power of the subconscious in the 23 hours which remain. It works beautifully, transforming even the dullest events into material. Your wicked and wondrous mind does the work.

When you're on a big push, as many of us are right now, it pays to double up. We run a one-hour-a-day writing method at The Novelry but in these wonderful writing days of winter, I've been pushing on with two hours writing and two hours reading.

I've found the new writing slot for the busy working mother - the bedtime shift. Drafting the scene...

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Hold Back the Stars - The Movie. Nov 18, 2018

Katie Khan - Our member's novel now a movie.

We are thrilled to announce that our member Katie Khan's novel 'Hold Back the Stars' is being made into a movie!

Two of Hollywood's most sought-after young stars are joining forces for the sci-fi love story. Stars Wars actor John Boyega and Black Panther actress Letitia Wright are attached to star in the adaptation of the novel that centres on a man and a woman who revisit memories of their love affair on a utopian Earth while they are trapped in the vast void of space with only 90 minutes of oxygen. 

We are so proud of Katie. Conceptually, Katie dares to dream and aims high, and she works hard. Not only does she have a full-on day job but she writes novels with fierce determination. She began her second novel 'The Light Between Us' when she started the Ninety Day Novel course with us in August 2017 and it was published by Transworld in August 2018. She's an author who is generous towards her teammates...

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Tales from A Writers' Retreat. Nov 11, 2018

The writers gathered, windswept and willing, in the vale of Marshwood on Tuesday afternoon last week.

We'd come past Stonehenge, down through valleys with breathtaking views, hilltops with clusters of Autumn-clad trees.

We were met with a warm welcome from the hostess, the Lady of Marshwood Manor, Romla Ryan. She showed us to the luxurious cottages with standalone baths, plushly-laundered beds and kitchens stocked with fresh milk, ground coffee and cafetieres. What more could a weary writer need?

I sat down on the sofa in my recessed sitting room, and looked out at an ancient oak tree from my cottage across the fields and thought - wow, this is quiet. Not a sound. No road noise.

'People say - we came the wrong way,' said Romla, 'but I say - no, there's only one road. It's just rural.'

As dark fell, writers gathered for tea and homemade cake and began telling each other the story of their novels. They discussed their plans for the sacred week. A chance to regroup,...

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