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Truth and Fiction truth in fiction Sep 30, 2018

'The truth is rarely pure and never simple. Modern life would be very tedious if it were either, and modern literature a complete impossibility!'

Oscar Wilde.

If you're new to us, welcome to The...

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To Plan or Not to Plan A Novel? Novel Writing Process. planning a novel Sep 23, 2018

Are you a plotter or a pantser? I'm both. I rely on the 'divine write' but I also have a cunning plan up my sleeve. Read on!

I have this crazy notion that I used to write novels without planning...

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When Is It Time To Give Up On Your Novel? giving up on a novel Aug 12, 2018

There comes a time when every writer has to face the awful thought that they may have to kill their manuscript.

 “Often when I sat down to work,” wrote Michael Chabon about a...

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Writing The Great Gatsby coding a novel the great gatsby Aug 05, 2018

“I want to write something new - something extraordinarily beautiful and simple and intricately patterned."

That was The Great Gatsby, which Fitzgerald began in the wake of wild times...

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Writing The Modern Novel: From Scott Fitzgerald to Sally Rooney sally rooney scott fitzgerald Jul 29, 2018

Shame and Sacrifice.

The modern novel, when it's great, turns these sad old tricks beloved of its forbears.

When I was reading Sally Rooney's Conversations with Friends, I was struck by the name of...

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The Female Writer and Anger anger Jul 08, 2018

If you are a woman and you are a writer, you are not allowed to be angry.

If you feel angry about something and write with high feeling, you may be described, as a former agent once described...

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Politics in the Novel. chimamanda ngozi adichie politics in the novel Jul 01, 2018

Most 'big' books will have a theme and that's what I mean by politics.

This is not to say that theme belongs to a party-driven agenda - a book should not be in my opinion a vehicle for an organized...

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Defying Gender as a Writer gender Jun 17, 2018

 Women, Men & Other Clichés

 'I think being a woman is like being Irish... Everyone says you're important and nice, but you take second place all the time.' Iris...

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Writing Literary Fiction? literary fiction Jun 10, 2018

Sometime back in the 2000's 'literary' became a dirty word.

My first book was published in 2004. My work was hailed as 'the opposite of chick lit' but that was a double-edged sword ... 

I...

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Tone of Voice in Writing Fiction tone of voice Jun 03, 2018

 At more than halfway through writing this novel, I pulled into the writer's layby to check tone of voice as I was worried that in the darker parts I'd let the humourous voice slip. (As you...

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Philip Roth and Writing Fiction philip roth May 27, 2018

Philip Roth. Never mediocre.

Humbling, yet humble. A combination that made Philip Roth great.

His books were like knives we couldn’t put down despite them cutting our hands.

This is an...

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Francois Mauriac francois mauriac May 20, 2018

There is one reason I write.

There is a reason I write and will always write until they take the pencil away from me.

The mystery.

The mystery of what’s going to happen on the...

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Find the Lie, Nail the Story finding the lie May 13, 2018

'Why haven't you done anything with the book you wrote last year?' My son asked me.

'Because it's not important. I needed to write it but the world doesn't need it.'

'I would read it.'

'You can't...

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The Premise of Your Story - The Morality Tale morality tale premise Apr 28, 2018

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...

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