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Writing a Novel

Drawing From Your Emotional Well

Jen Grisanti | Posted 05.25.2011 | Los Angeles
Jen Grisanti

We all have a story. Everyday, our story grows. Some days are good days and we feel joy and a strong sense of accomplishment. While other days somethi...

The Making of a Novel: 5 Ways You Know You're on the Right Track

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

I decided to make a change to the start of my novel, which means hacking out a lot of pages. I'm not sure how many will have to go yet, but I will cut...

The Making of a Novel: When It Feels Like Work

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

I sent 57 pages of my novel-in-progress to a friend for a critique, and last night I got back pages and pages of notes. I have some other work I have ...

A Million Exploited MFA's: How James Frey Benefits from MFA Programs' Willingness to Sell Out Their Students

Hillary Rettig | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Hillary Rettig

Frey's atelier is not all that different from the MFA programs themselves, in that both extract huge amounts of resources from desperate writers in exchange for vivid but undefined promises of success and glory.

The Making of a Novel: Polling the Experts

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

Last week, I did a book signing at a Holiday Gift fair at a local school. A local bookseller had a table of great gift-giving books laid out, and I sat in front of a stack of my three novels, ready to personalize them for anyone who wanted one.

Here's a NOVEL way a Newspaper is Trying to Bring in Readers

Claudia Ricci | Posted 05.25.2011 | Media
Claudia Ricci

We all know that newspapers are in desperate straits. But some newspapers are trying to bring in readers in "novel" ways. LITERALLY. Take the "Wri...

The Making of a Novel: What Support Means to a Writer

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

I was on a roll over the weekend. I wrote and wrote and wrote, and sorted through notes and books, and integrated ideas into my text, and basically co...

The Making of a Novel: What Readers Skip

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

Elmore Leonard famously said, "I try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip." I thought of this today, because I hacked some words out of my ...

The Making of a Novel: I Read It in the New York Times

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

When you're writing a long story, you often labor for a long time in the dark. You're not exactly sure where you're going and you're not exactly sure how you are going to get there.

The Making of a Novel: Real Life Gets in the Way

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

I had a big block of time set aside today to write, and had been looking forward to it -- but, alas, my 9th grader got sick in the middle of the night...

The Making of a Novel: When Writing is an Emergency

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

In her book Twenty-Eight Artists and Two Saints, writer Joan Aconcella makes the point that art is always an emergency. I loved that line when I read ...

The Making of a Novel: Meeting the Public

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

I was part of an author's luncheon event today. There were about 500 people in the audience and five featured authors besides myself. Although my host...

National Novel Writing Month Is Hooey

Brian Gresko | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Brian Gresko

If you really want to write a novel, you should bite the bullet and put in the time and energy to write something that you're going to want to read and hope others will too.

The Making of a Novel: The Lessons of a Bad Book

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

I have to drive a relatively long way to teach my weekly class at UCLA, and I listen to books on tape while I drive. I find that I arrive in a much be...

How to Get Past the NaNoWriMo Danger Point and Finish Your Novel

Hillary Rettig | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Hillary Rettig

Writing a novel is like running a marathon. Make sure you're working in a place that supports your productivity.

The Making of a Novel: The Beauty of Paper

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

This morning I printed out 60 pages of my new novel to read for the first time on paper. I sharpened a pencil, cleared some space at the kitchen table...

The Making of a Novel: Serendipity

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

I wrote four pages today and something thrilling happened in the midst of the work: I was adding a scene into a previous section, because I realized t...

The Making of a Novel: Words Lost in Cyberspace

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

I wrote a post yesterday for this column, and saved it, and published it -- and it's gone. Poof! Disappeared. I clearly did something wrong on my end....

The Making of a Novel: Pretending the Glass is Half Full

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

I have this tendency to think that whatever I'm writing at the moment is the best thing I've ever written -- and possibly the best thing that's ever b...

The Making of a Novel: I Would Never Do NaNoWriMo, But I'm Still a Huge Fan

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

Thanks to my time writing on planes this weekend, I hit 50 pages on my novel, or 13,689 words. I've been working on these pages for more than a month,...

The Making of a Novel: Developing Character Through Dialogue

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

Sometimes the best way to develop a character is to bring the character on stage and let them start talking. The stage, when you're writing a novel, ...

The Making of a Novel: 7 Reasons to Write on Planes

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

I'm getting ready to go on a trip, and I'm so excited about the chance to write on a plane. Here are my 7 top reasons why planes are great places to w...

The Making of a Novel: Reading My Dreams

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

Using dreams as a tool for creativity is hardly new. Writers from Voltaire to Coleridge to Robert Louis Stevenson are said to have used their dreams to fuel their writing.

The Making of a Novel: Do You Scribble in the Margins?

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

I can't write in a book. I just can't. I was raised to believe that books were sacred, and I have never lost that belief. There will be no highlightin...

The Making of a Novel: The 7-Hour Stretch

Jennie Nash | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books
Jennie Nash

I wrote for seven hours today, which is an unheard-of stretch of time for me. I blocked off this chunk of time, however, because I needed to re-envisi...