The Novelry Blog
Where the writers are.
Writing a Dystopian Novel.
Five Reasons To Write A Dystopia.
(Warning: Spoilers for ‘We’ by Yevgeny Zamyatin, ‘1984’ by George Orwell, ‘A Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood and ‘The Children of Men’ by PD James.)
- Utopia and Dystopia are a hair's breadth apart
Utopia came first. Written in Latin and published in 1516, Thomas More first coined the phrase as the title for his work of fiction and socio-political satire – ‘a little, true book, not less beneficial than enjoyable, about how things should be in a state and about the new island Utopia’. More portrays a socialist idyll of hospitals and shared food. (Not all the details are so homogenously equal but considering the time it was written, there’s a lot that seems remarkable.) But utopia literally means ‘nowhere’, from Greek ou ‘not’ and topos ‘place’; this was somewhere that could not be found.
Moving on to...
Silvia Molteni is a literary agent at PFD. Peters Fraser + Dunlop (PFD) is one of our twelve partner literary agencies. We submit our writers work in preference to these warm-hearted, reputable, leading agencies who act on behalf of authors globally to secure enviable publishing contracts with The Big 5 publishers worldwide. It's a mutually rewarding arrangement. Our partner agencies look forward to seeing our work, as it's of a reliably high standard, and in return they come back to us like lightning with their thoughts. No slush pile for our writers.
Our agents pop into The Novelry from time to time to give our writers a heads up on what's hot in the publishing world and how to ensure your novel is firing on all cylinders, and the wonderful Silvia Molteni will be joining us Monday 1st February at 6pm for a live Q&A session. A chance for our writers to get their questions answered and meet the agent in person. Putting faces to names is a huge pleasure for...
Emma Stonex is the author of several books written under a pseudonym. Before becoming a writer, she worked as an editor at a major publishing house. The Lamplighters is her debut novel under her own name. It's the eagerly-awaited 'super-lead' title for Picador, published this Spring.
Emma will be our guest author for a live session for members in March.
From the Desk of Emma Stonex
I wrote nine novels before the one I knew nothing about. There aren’t any lighthouse keepers in my family, I haven’t (thank goodness) mourned a missing person, I don’t even live by the sea. The Lamplighters isn’t based on my experience on any direct level, and yet strangely it’s the only story to date I’ve felt an urgent need to tell. The advice is to write what you know, but I’m not sure I agree. Writers are curious. If this isn’t a job about occupying new worlds, what is?
A writer’s trade is her imagination.
She has a responsibility to learn about...
Ruth Hogan will be our guest for a Live Session at The Novelry on 15th February.
Ruth Hogan is the bestselling author of the Sunday Times bestseller and Richard & Judy Readers' Award winner - The Keeper of Lost Things. She's the author of bestsellers - The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes, Queenie Malone's Paradise Hotel and the forthcoming Madame Burova (due to be published April 2021)
From the Desk of Ruth Hogan.
For me, writing isn’t a choice – it’s an obsession. A compulsion. Getting published was better than winning the lottery (and the odds were not dissimilar!) and I count myself lucky every day that I get paid for doing what I love.
But even if no publishing deal had come along, I know that I would still be writing at every opportunity. I always describe myself as a ‘method’ writer. Whenever I start a new book, I surround myself in my writing space with pictures and things that relate to the plot and the characters. I create...
'Every writer I know has trouble writing.'
Almost 99% of writers exist in a state of some doubt that they're any good at this writing business. The other 1% aren't very good at it.
Only a fool thinks their writing is much good while they're mid-novel. Sure, you get flashes, moments, in which a line soars, an insight cuts, or a mysterious space opens up and you think - yup, that's why I do this. And even, damn that's good. But mostly one goes to the manuscript word document in a state best described as faintly appalled.
You're not alone. Confidence is quite properly an elusive quality for this craft. You'd be useless with too much of it. Confidence and doubt keep the work human and humane, and above all else tender. After all, the novel is the art form singularly concerned with the frailty of the creature that knows God but is no god, that has the appetite of an animal, but is not quite as reliable.
We seem to see our novel as the...
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