The Novelry Blog

Where the writers are.

And Behold. The Magic of Transformation in Fiction. Mar 22, 2018

You've got to love William Blake. 

'A Woman clothed with the sun, & the moon under her feet, and / upon her head a crown of twelve stars; and behold a great red dragon also.'

Blake has taken this from Revelations 12 but I love the way he cuts and splices the phrases and uses them as the springboard for his art which is so often fantastical and revelatory.

I want to something to you about MAGIC. I know for some of you, you're as wary of this as if it's maths. That somehow bad breath and costumes are involved.

When it comes to 'magic', there's a broad church, but what I mean by it in the Classic Course, applies also to those of you on the Ninety Day Novel; transformation.

All great books serve up transformation on a silver plate, nice and succulent. He was a bit of a dullard, now he's pure evil. She was a drip, now she's working for NASA. Transformation is what a novel is all about. It's the moment in which the hero's flaw is seized in the cosmic spinning wheel,...

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Writing a Classic. Mar 07, 2018

Time to press play. (Turn the volume up.)

When on occasion, my writers they struggle to find words, I advise them to try writing less. That seems to work. 

This week, working with one of my writers we laughed about using this motto - 'I'm just writing a little book' - rather than the heady rhetoric of empire-building to encourage yourself to the daily writing. When you work in a way that is small, humble and cosy, proceeding with patient affection from one paragraph to the next, it is like building a fire from kindling and breathing life into it as we saw with The Firestarter competition last week. (Rather than chucking a load of petrol over a barbecue and watching it go out leaving the sausages burnt and foul.)

So when I bill the new course that starts on Monday as 'How To Write A Classic' I hope you will not feel too awed. 

I've been ever so 'umble' in the last three months, quiet and cosy as a Hobbit in my hole, studying the all-time bestselling...

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The Winner is... Mar 04, 2018

We're on fire.

We are a community of writers dedicated to pushing, cheering, dragging, cajoling, bribing each other over the finishing line of 'The End'.

 The purpose of The Novelry is to make sure that each and every one of our member's manuscripts is 100% safe at submission. This means putting it through its paces and many, many rounds of checks and fine balances most crucially, in the final stages at the Members Lodge. 

Round after round of revision at the Members Lodge - based on the guidance given - means that manuscript will only be rejected because of an agent's personal peccadillo, and not because:

  1. It doesn't make sense
  2. The writing's bad
  3. The story sucks

None of these will apply to one of our manuscripts.

We are men and women who have become comrades in ink. We turn to each other. We salute each other, we cheer, and yes, we do whinge a bit when the mood takes us. We like it that way.

We are about to celebrate the first anniversary of Kritikme and...

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How to Get Started Writing a Children's Book. (It's About Time.) Feb 25, 2018

Start by locating the source of evil in your world. Conflict is the essential ingredient to a children's story.

It may or may not be a dragon. (Please God, not another one.)

The real evil in Narnia, Wonderland, and Neverland is time.

Oh Kronos, you creep.

Kronos (or Cronus) was the King of the Titans and the god of time for the Greeks, a destructive, all-devouring force. He ruled the cosmos during the Golden Age after castrating and deposing his father, Uranus (Sky). In fear of a prophecy that he would in turn be overthrown by his own son, Kronos swallowed each of his children as they were born. 

Time is the old grandfather clock who gets tick-tocked off in fantasy fiction, particularly children's classics. 

Got five minutes?

 "Well, sir, if things are real, they're there all the time."

"Are they?" said the Professor; and Peter didn't know quite what to say.

"But there was no time," said Susan. "Lucy had no time to have gone anywhere, even if there was such a place....

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How to Become a Successful Writer. Feb 17, 2018

 

Writers are creative people, and they're most creative of all with time. Successful writers make time to write.

Are you busy?

As in you have a great deal to do and don't have enough time?

Right-o. Yup. I haven't yet met anyone who isn't, have you? 

You have the same amount of time as everyone on a day to day basis. You have twenty-four hours. You can argue that they are not yours to use as you lie, but that's not entirely true. You can always walk out of your life and it's the fantasy subject of many a good book and the practice of many a holy man or woman too. 

When you say you are busy what you mean is this is not important enough to make it onto the 1... 24 of the hours I have available. So next time he or she doesn't call you because they were busy you will know you did not make it into their top 24 things to do that day or the next.

It would be very cool if you had the guts to say 'this is not important to me' rather than that you are too busy since you and...

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