Monday, April 23, 2012

The Long Haul

" […] most creative writing workshops are oriented towards short fiction. For the young novelist, this can be troublesome. His talent may go unnoticed: his marathon-runner pace does not stir the same interest as the story writer’s sprinter’s pace; and the kinds of mistakes workshops focus on are not as important in a novel as in a short story […] Sometimes it happens that the young novelist distorts his art in an attempt to compete with the short story writers in his class. He tries to make every chapter zing, tries dense symbolism and staggeringly rich prose; he violates the novelistic pace."
— John Gardner, On Becoming a Novelist

I've owned and cherished this book for many years, and have read it more than once, not just for its nuts-and-bolts advice on tackling longer works, but for Mr. Gardner's deep understanding and compassionate wisdom. If you need something to get you through a parched or rocky stretch of your "marathon" book, On Becoming A Novelist is like a cool drink from a mountain spring.

Buy this book here...

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