Monday, January 08, 2007

Novel Writing Is Not For Faint of Heart

Various well-known and award-winning authors--Richard Ford, David Baldacci, Carl Hiassen, etc--are quoted in a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article by Regis Behe:

"Novel writing not for the faint of heart, authors say"

Author Jane Bernstein, who teaches writing at Carnegie Mellon University, asks would-be writers to assess whether they have a story worth telling, worth reading:

"The thing I tell people is they should always think, 'Why would anyone care about my story?'" Bernstein says. "That intimidating question to them should be a reason for them to really work on craft and to work so hard, to spend so much time on their writing story, that in the end they're able to say, 'I'm going to make this so memorable, so great to read, that even though I'm no one, a stranger would be interested in what I have to say.'

"And I would think that same thing is true with fiction. I always raise that question -- Why would anybody be interested in what you have to write, in any story you tell?' -- and to use that as a kind of ammunition to perfect craft."

There is one thing for certain: People will continue to write. Writers will emerge, whether from a class such as Kinder's or from some other lonely outpost or occupation. James Ellroy was a small-time thief and often homeless before he penned the novels "L.A. Confidential" and "The Black Dahlia." Stephen King was a high school teacher living in a trailer in Maine, writing short stories for men's magazines when his wife rescued from the trash what would become his first best-seller, "Carrie." Janet Evanovich was a secretary writing romance novels before she found great success writing mysteries.

"The good thing is the industry is always scouting for the next James Patterson, or the next Grisham or Nora Roberts or Danielle Steel," Hiaasen says. "There's a constant hunger for the next big thing. It's not like there's no appetite for it. And I still have this naive belief that real talent, truly talented people, will get published."

1 comment:

SolShine7 said...

Doesn't the Bible teach us about this little thing called perservance and how it builds character and stuff?? Yep, God knows everything...even before some fancy big shot author rewords the whole concept. As the old saying goes: "there's nothing new under the sun"