Tag Archives: novelists

Another Author’s Insight: Charles Dickens (1812-1870) | IRISH FIREBRANDS: A Novel ~ and Other Works by Christine Plouvier, Indie Author

I’m looking forward to renewing acquaintance with imaginary friends in the coming year – several years of poor health that adversely affected my ability to write creatively has kept us apart. But in that interval, I’ve tried to keep in touch with the times of their lives through a mass of research (documented at my Passions of Patriots blog site). And now I have a new lift-chair recliner in which to relax while I pick up the virtual pen again! (Most of Irish Firebrands was written while I occupied the chair that’s now owned and operated by my son.)

I do not find it easy to get sufficiently far away from this Book, in the first sensations of having finished it, to refer to it with the composure which this formal heading would seem to require. …

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Turning Someone Else’s Diary Into A New Story

This should be an eye-opener for those who like to write in the first person singular point of view.

Of the novels I’ve encountered which take the form of a diary (having chapters or scene breaks labeled with dates), most are disappointing because they’re too detailed, especially because the dated “entries” usually include vast amounts of dialogue. While a strong, sustained suspension of disbelief is required by any novel written in the first person, no diarist’s memory of conversations can plausibly be very lengthy or detailed, and a niggling background awareness of that truth can make it difficult to stay engaged with such stories.

However otherwise unrealistic a work of fiction may be, plausibility is the key to its effective delivery to the imagination of the reader. A writer could better achieve suspension of disbelief (as well as create greater suspense) by paring down the contents of purported diary entries to the minimum necessary to support character development and the movement of the story through their arcs.

Chicago Review of Books

There are some sentences, some images, some artifacts, that stick with us over time. These are different for every person, but something imperceptible causes them to lodge themselves in our minds, draws us to think those words over and over, recall the feelings that go with them. Still to this day, when I sit down to write something I think to myself, “Hunter ready to write,” a reference to Hunter S. Thompson’s infamous schedule. When my girlfriend and I are walking and see a flock of birds, we might say to each other, “They could be starlings,” a reference to Shane Carruth’s film Upstream Color.

With Aug 9 – Fog, Kathryn Scanlan has created something truly unique. As explained in a note preceding the text, the book is an arrangement of sentences pulled from a five-year diary Scanlan found at an estate sale. Unlike the title, the diary…

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Another Author’s Insight: James Hilton (1900-1954)

Others of the family, however, got hold of the manuscript and read enough of it to decide it was rather good, though of course they had to be a little patronizing about a mere writer, especially an unknown one, while at the same time nourishing the secret wonderment of all healthy-minded Philistines that the act of writing can be protracted throughout three hundred pages.
~ Random Harvest, page 94

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