marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

On Becoming a Novelist

On Becoming a Novelist by John Gardner

Covering all sorts of topics about the writing life.  Like sensitivity to language, and how too much of it is probably not a Good Thing for a writer.  How bad writing often demonstrates a problematic mind-set. Developing how people would react.  He lays down a law at one point that an ignorant character can't make moral choices and so is bad -- as if we don't all make moral choices in at least partial ignorance; the trick is not to blindside the reader but to provide clues for both character and reader.  The importance of metaphor.  The unimportance of theme as taught in English classes, and the danger of it to the new reader.  Education for the writer, with the advantages and disadvantages of such majors as English, hard science, philosophy.  Occupations for the writer, since you can't count on a living from novels. The importance of the concrete.  What to look for in classes and writing groups. . . .

some interesting stuff in there
Tags: how-to-write books, non-historical non-fiction reviews, style
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