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Friday, November 03, 2006

Training advice for the young novelist 

I've liberated this from its original home in the comments on this post by Wyn. Most of the inside jokes are literary-exercise jokes. The only other useful bit of background info is that Wyn just ran her first marathon this year.

Remember that writing a novel, the marathon of literature, is all about the training.

I recommend you start off this december with just some interval sentences: quickly written, short bursts of text. As you progress through early spring next year, you will do drills that include six-word stories alternating with paragraphs at least once a week, and you'll write a short chapter every Sunday morning.

In the final phase as you progress through late summer, you will be writing novelets, and by fall, novellas.

If you're interested in speed, Hemingway cadences are highly recommended. Some writers earlier in the century used to use Joycean training methods, but these are now discredited as counterproductive in the more reputable literary-training journals.

Finally, by next November, you will be ready to write your first novel. Most people do a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story for their first novel, and it's a good choice. So take Dave Eggers as your pace bunny, and go to it.

I prefer to watch videos......say of....hmmmmm......cyclocross races.

Soon you will be four or five videos behind soon.

Subtract last "soon". :-D
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