I’m a big white rectangle with sheets and blankets on top and people sleep on me. What am I? I’m invisible, yet you can know what I am by using a clock or watch or a sundial or in a pinch you can just guess what I am. What am I? What’s black and white … Continue reading
What I don’t understand is why we writers believe that those on the other side of the transom act in such illogical ways, ways in which I definitely wouldn’t act if I were in their shoes. Agents. If I were an agent I wouldn’t read anybody’s stories or novels.
We call a story good because of what is written, not who wrote it. But sometimes people invert the relationship—i.e., we believe a story must be good because a particular name is attached to it. In “A Legend in His Own Mind” (The New Yorker, Dec. 22 & 29, 1997, pp. 54-65), John Walsh reports … Continue reading
On March 31, 2010, 21-year-old Veronica Roth wrote a blog post titled “You + $$$ = ?” Two weeks later, Roth sold her first book, a dystopian YA novel about a society segregated by moral virtues and a girl who doesn’t fit in. “I was in Psych learning about exposure therapy,” she recalls. She started … Continue reading
21-Year-Old Novelist Samantha Shannon on Her Debut, The Bone Season Samantha Shannon’s “inspiration for The Bone Season, the ambitious first novel in a projected seven-part series to be published by Bloomsbury, came from an internship with literary agent David Godwin the summer after her first year at Oxford.
Fade in on an office building at sunset. Mournful music plays. Cut to interior of the building as the white collar workers leave. One turns back on the threshold and calls, “See you in the morning, John.” Cut to John, late twenties, All-American looks, clean-shaven but with a lock of hair falling over his forehead, … Continue reading
Today, I can confidently state that I am the greatest conceptual art thief in the world. I have perpetrated dozens of elaborate heists, stealing many of the most valuable works of 20th century art, and not only have I never been caught, but nobody has ever even found out my crimes had ever taken place. … Continue reading
ANDRE: “You see, I think that people today are so deeply asleep that unless, you know, you’re putting on those sort of superficial plays that just help your audience to sleep more comfortably, it’s very hard to know what to do in the theater. ‘Cause, you see, I think that if you put on serious … Continue reading
Pritchard’s Law says, in one (narrow) application, there will be an inverse relationship between the amount of plot per page in a novel and the quality of its prose. The more plot, the worse prose. Below are passages from various novels quoted by James Wood in The New Yorker. He specifically singled out these passages … Continue reading
Four years ago, he decided to give writing a shot. He and his wife were living in a 750-square foot house in Boone, N.C. He was unemployed; his wife was working as a psychologist. He had an idea for a story about a young spaceship pilot who travels across the galaxy in search of her … Continue reading