Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Horrible Novels

American author, Ray Bradbury, knows a thing or two about writing fiction: he’s been doing it for over 70 years. During this time he has written a number of influential works including: ‘The Martian Chronicles’, ‘Fahrenheit 451’, and ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’.

Bradbury is an encourager of authors. Here’s what he says about writing novels:

“…it takes a year to write a novel, and if it doesn’t work, you despair, you see? I don’t write novels – well, rarely. If you write 52 short stories in a year, I defy you to write 52 bad ones. So you keep your spirits up.”

Bradbury is admonishing his listeners to walk before they run, to learn the art of writing before they embark on creating a full length novel. He’s saying, in a very gentle way, that there’s a chance that your first novel may not be as good as you think it is.

Recently, a reader told me that they liked this line from a short-story of mine named ‘Joy':

“My heart is not a spring in a box. My heart is like a rower on a midnight lake.”

My reader probably wouldn’t have read my work if it were novel length. I would have missed out on their thoughts and on their encouragement. I would have missed out on a chance to learn.

Having said that, I’m actually thinking about writing a novel.

No comments:

Post a Comment