On opening sentences: "If in the first chapter a hurricane is going to blow down an oak tree which falls through the kitchen roof, there's no need to first describe the kitchen."
I need time to develop the idea into a plot before I talk about it.
None of great sages of China preached the precept of love as a guideline for human behavior...
My experience is that an original and compelling idea for a novel is a rare thing.
I've never discovered the idea for my next novel while I was still working on the current novel. Other writers don't suffer this.
I can only write one novel at a time. The author of the Perry Mason novels, Erle Stanley Gardner, often worked on four novels simultaneously, and produced a million words a year. I'm envious.
When I was hired by the University of Washington extension school to teach the one-year fiction writing course - 96 classroom hours - I quickly determined that I knew only about an hour's worth off the top of my head.
I researched fiction writing for months before I taught my first class, much of it looking for strong techniques from bestselling authors.
My students - all adults - bring a lot of writing skill to the first class, and they and I get better as the class progresses.
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