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."
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.
I need time to develop the idea into a plot before I talk about it.
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