Thursday, March 18, 2010

Writing a novel is easy

Looking at revisions to my historical, I dug out 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel (What to Read and How to Write) by Jane Smiley this week.

Some real gems here, but this in particular, since I'm dealing with the necessary awkwardness and imperfection of openings and beginnings, caught my eye:

No novel can be written perfectly because perfect spatial balance cannot be achieved word by word. At the same time, though, writing a novel is easy because there is nothing simpler than adding word to word, sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph, and then going back and reading and writing it over again. To do it, the author simply has to remember that it can't be done, that the ideal edifice that exists in his mind may not be, and cannot be, and will never be communicated, but something will. That something is the novel you don't know you can write until you get it written.

Available from Amazon.


mulberry said...

Excellent quote, Jane, thanks for that!

Did you get a revision request on your HH? I've been so busy I haven't been on the writing boards so I missed that. Yippee!

Jane Holland said...

No, this is a totally different book - a straight historical, about 100,000 words. The revisions are being done for an agent, not an editor. But I'm very pleased by the way things are going ...