As part of the new novel-writing paradigm in Chez XtremeEnglish, I got a new book in the mail today: Jane Smiley's 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel. Her opening paragraph for "Chapter 10: A Novel of Your Own (1)," reads as follows:
Now that you have decided to begin your novel, you may congratulate yourself. You have not been asked or groomed to write a novel. You have not gone to novel-writing school, nor taken a standard curriculum of preparatory courses [An M.A. from City College's Creative Writing program and a few classes from the Iowa Writers Workshop don't count? Nah.]. Chances are, no one wants you to write your novel--if they say they do, they are just meaning that you should get it over with or get on with it. The people you know actually dread reading the novel you are about to write--they don't want to read about themselves, they don't want to be bored, and they fear embarrassment for everyone. You are, therefore, free.
(from 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel, by Jane Smiley. Copyright 2005. Published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.
Gentle readers, truer words have never been spoken. But I don't care. All I have to do is write 50,000 words in some sort of novelistic form, scramble it [Oh, people cheat and steal our honest work! The same kind of creeps who send viruses to your computer! So we scramble it when we send it in to be verified], and then go from there. Maybe a nother novel next month! I've always said that I wanted to write (and publish) six novels before I die. No time like the present.