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How To Write A Novel

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‘...everything interesting begins with one person and one place.'

Nov 25, 2017
 

I commend to you today John McGahern and his work ‘Amongst Women.’ He was not a plotty writer, but he was a genius writer, supremely elusive in his work.

McGahern adhered closely to Flaubert’s guiding ethos that the writer should ‘be present everywhere, but not visible, like God in nature’.

If you have not discovered him you should. ‘The Pornographer’ is on the hero book list for The Novel in Ninety course.

Mr McGahern came to rock boats, not lull cradles.

As you will read in the blog tomorrow, I’m venturing to suggest you raise your game and follow rabble-rousing footsteps.

John McGahern, like so many of the greats, wrote for two or three hours a day, with ‘a lot of time looking out the window in between’. (Slow, steady writing beats bingeing; it produces results, not emotional fatigue.)

‘In fiction, the most powerful weapon the writer has is suggestion. I think that nearly all good writing is suggestion, and...

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