The Novelry Blog
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Any tale of any kind told to humans by humans is and has ever been a morality tale.
'There was a man who... ' This person has a flaw, a failing, either moral (a tendency that will bring them and others misery) or cosmic (a hole in his or her fortune). They can't see it. Well, I can't see mine, but Robbie Burns was right to bemoan the fact that we cannot see ourselves as others see us. It would save us a lot of grief. But a tale is the closest we ever come, like Narcissus, to gazing at our own reflection.
The action of the book sets the flaw straight or shows it in dreadful relief.
At the denouement the protagonist takes one of two paths - he sees it and corrects it or stands corrected, or - and perhaps wonderfully, embraces it. This latter is a very rare outcome (The Godfather is much quoted as one of these, and I do rather like the idea of playing with the usual form.)
So your hook must posit - a person with flaw, and the outcome is this flaw being corrected. That my...
"Alas,” said the mouse, “the whole world is growing smaller every day. At the beginning it was so big that I was afraid, I kept running and running, and I was glad when I saw walls far away to the right and left, but these long walls have narrowed so quickly that I am in the last chamber already, and there in the corner stands the trap that I must run into.”
“You only need to change your direction,” said the cat, and ate it up.
Franz Kafka: “A Little Fable”
Coelho wrote his 45,00 word 'The Alchemist' in two weeks, as it was 'written in his soul.' It is 'a fable about following your dream.'
As those taking the Classic course know, what you write can come true.
In the very first chapters of 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' JR Rowling declares that Harry Potter will become famous worldwide.
In a way, a book is a spell.
So long as you know what it's about, what its promise is, in one sentence, you can deliver it...
You can plan all you like, but at some point you've got to write.
So you have to know when to stop planning. If you plan too far you lose the will to write and the magic that happens in the writing and the walls of fear start to go up and get higher and higher until even doing the ironing looks good.
Enjoy your background reading until the point it gets quite obscure and you're in danger of being didactic. Cross the knowledge threshold and you're a preacher not a writer. So stay back in the realm of slightly unsatisfied curiosity and don't cross over into the vanity of the realm of being a know-it-all. Writers don't know it all, that's why they write books.
All I know is that when Ithe chocolate stash is gone, it's time to pull back the cuffs and step into the other world of writing where anything can happen. Be careful not to become a would-be writer with years passing away in multi-coloured spreadsheets. The water's bracing and not as cold as you think and when you're in...
We write, don't we, in spite of people.
I have thought, when dedicating my novels, as I do at the outset, that they might just as well be devoted to those names not just with love, but also with the words 'I wrote this in spite of you.'
Is that a rotten thing to say? Or is it the truth that as you grow older the hoary old hands of love clutch at you, hang round your neck, and the babes in arms are six foot and still you carry them? Man, beast or child, love is a lot of carrying. And writers would like to be light.
We write to disappear. Bit by bit, over time, or sometimes headlong.
How I long to throw myself off a cliffside into a silent sea.
Vertigo. What a way to verti-go.
'Vertigo is a medical condition where a person feels as if they or the objects around them are moving when they are not. Often it feels like a spinning or swaying movement.This may be associated with nausea, vomiting, sweating, or difficulties walking. It is typically...
We are storytelling animals.
The Novelry is home to storytellers. We are the worldwide school for novelists, some published, most aspiring, and we're the number one destination for writers seeking to 'turn pro.'
If only you knew, that it all begins, quite simply with a story idea, and that the story idea might begin with 'once upon a time'. A fairy tale.
In our bestselling course to help you come up with a big, bold story idea - The Classic course - we take writers back to the first stories they loved, fairy tales, and have them dig there. We show you just how many famous writers of bestsellers did just that. The magical course, most often described by our writers as 'mind-blowing' shows you how to combine your unique interests, passions and love, your own experiences with the bold gambits of the all-time bestsellers for story success.
You see, most writers think that what's required is an original story. Well, yes and no.
What readers want, and what...
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