Dec 2, 2008

Stuff I've learned

So I'm in the final furlong of my book. Since I've never written a novel before I thought it might be something to list the things I've learned.

1) I always know when I am wrong but it takes a while to admit it. That feeling — knowing-I'm-wrong-but-taking-my-time-to-admit-it — is suspiciously close to the feeling I get when I have a good idea.
2) I cannot write a character whom I don't, in some sense, love.
3) Making the reader fall in love with someone is impossible.
4) Problems that I am convinced are completely insolvable, without becoming someone else entirely — a much better writer, say — are invariably quite solvable, if only I do the thing I don't want to do.
5) Conversations can be about anything.
6) Themes are deadly. (Actually I already knew this, but not so well that I didn't have to find it out again).
Scenery can be a good thing but only if someone is doing something.
8) Final chapters can be a bit like parties where you drink too much and embarrass yourself.
9) Not knowing whether you've written a good book or a bad book is not just the way it works, but the way it should be.
10) Taking a walk is never a bad idea.

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