The Novelry Blog
Where the writers are.
One of our 'Hero Books' for novelists writing their novels with The Novelry is Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, and many of us are looking forward to the new movie adaption which airs on Netflix on October 21st.
If you don't know the story, here's the premise:
Working as a lady's companion, the orphaned heroine of Rebecca learns her place. Life begins to look very bleak until, on a trip to the South of France, she meets Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. Whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to his brooding estate, Manderley, on the Cornish Coast, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory of his dead wife Rebecca is forever kept alive by the forbidding Mrs Danvers. Not since Jane Eyre has a heroine faced such difficulty with 'the other woman'.
Described by Sarah Waters as one of the most influential novels of all time, the famous opening line of Rebecca (1939)...
We are delighted to announce the addition of The Soho Agency to our roster of literary agencies to whom we pitch our authors' finished novels. (Read more about The Soho Agency and see our full list here.)
From the Desk of Marina de Pass, Literary Agent.
My Career in Books...
I remember vividly the two experiences I had with career advisors in my life – one just before I left school, the other at university. Both involved a lot of leaflets, an advisor who had no idea who I was as a person, but who was sure that I should trust the dreaded aptitude test that would absolutely tell me what I should do with my life. Both times the test revealed I was most suited to a career as one of the following: lawyer, accountant or investment manager. Three very respectable and accomplished careers – and yet I was horrified. I worked for a couple of weeks doing research for an investment management firm – the people were lovely, the work actually quite interesting for an...
With our thanks to Ruth who will be joining us for a Guest Author Session this month.
From the Desk of Ruth Ware.
It's a lock-in.
I've always loved locked room mysteries. I love reading them – I find a really clever puzzle with finite possible solutions is somehow that bit more satisfying to solve than a novel where anyone could have wandered in off the street and stabbed their victim.
I also love writing them, as the fact that I keep returning to the locked room structure attests. There's something about setting yourself a challenge – a small cast of characters, a confined setting, a strictly limited set of options in terms of suspects, victims and murder weapons – and trying to be as creative as possible within those parameters that really sets my imagination sparking.
And in fact the first grown-up crime story I can ever...
Sometimes I wonder, do you, what people who don't write do with their thoughts? And what they plan to leave behind them too.
'Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?' Mary Oliver.
I started writing by putting down thoughts in poem form, and I think many writers start that way. We forget over time that here was the spark, and as our novels develop, it's good to be reminded of the ache of the thing, or the mischief of it; the pilot light. In this week's blog, our tutor Emylia Hall serves up some light for your darker days.
From the desk of Emylia Hall.
When I’m in the middle of a sprawling novel draft, I turn to poetry. You’ll find me with my head bent over my collections just like a beachcomber looks for treasure, hoping for a secret from the deep. Maybe it’s because there’s something particularly possessable about a poem: a few spare stanzas glint with the kind of truth that you can hold in the palm of your hand; a...
There are many choices to make when you begin writing a novel. Some you can choose from a starter menu - present or past tense, first person or third? - while others you will discover off-menu along the way, making what may feel at the time like a mistake. Personally, I’m fearful of going off-menu after learning, at the tender age of nine, that frogs taste like chicken, but with a lot more tiny bones.
Fiction is more forgiving. The brilliant thing about making mistakes in novel writing is you can fix many of them in a later draft. If you read your novel like a critical reader, rather than as the writer, and you’re willing to do the work, you can absolutely salvage and sharply improve the book.
Writing is rewriting.
But let’s talk about the menu because choosing wisely at the outset can save pain later. The first thing I like to do, when I have a plot and story in mind and ready to be written, is to audition the voice.
First, I pick my narrator....
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