I’m often asked about the best way to write a novel’s first draft, and thank God for that, for otherwise I’d have no social life at all.For the rest of the piece, clickety-click here …
For some reason it generally seems to happen when I discover myself at the bottom of Dawson Street around lunchtime, waiting to cross over to the Trinity side.
“I say, Mr Burke!” bawls some aspiring scribe who, having recently perambulated around from College Green, has mistaken me for that prime hunk of literary boulevardier Edmund Burke. “How does one go about writing a novel-length story?”
“Well,” I bawl back, which usually precipitates something of a conversational longueur, it being my accoster’s expectation that I have deployed same as a precursor to embarking on lengthy disquisition, whereas my advice in the matter of writing novel-length stories is as brief as it is simple, i.e., that if they must be written at all, then they really ought to be written well.
On being subsequently pressed for any further helpful detail, however small, I caution my interlocutors (a crowd tending to gather swiftly at such times) that their cause is entirely hopeless, for the wide-eyed optimism required to countenance the writing of a novel-length story is wholly at odds with what the market currently requires, it being your correspondent’s bitter experience that the modern novel, as the discerning Reader will undoubtedly agree, is rather more Keatsian than not, being a poor, weak, palsy-stricken, churchyard thing largely populated by useful idiots singing out Now can that jive! and What gives, matey? in peremptory tenor.
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Feature: How to Write a Novel’s First Draft
Declan Burke at 5:04 PM