How Writers Create Their Fiction: Chapter One

Typewriter on fire

Don't let that novel go up in flames! Corbis hide caption

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November isn't just the month of hanging chads and overstuffed turkeys. It's National Novel Writing Month. For the eighth year in a row, the web sponsors of this occasion are inviting aspiring fictioneers to compose a 50,000 word novel (that's 175 pages) in 30 days. Finish the word count, and you're declared a winner.

Writing a novel is a lot like riding a bike. A bike with no brakes and no gears. You've got one flat tire. Maybe two. If you're on a tricycle, you definitely have three flat tires. You're pedaling up a hill — a steep, pothole-filled mountain. And the weather? Let's just say it's a dark and stormy night.

To help you along, we've asked fiction writers from all genres for the essence of noveling: how they write, how they overcome writer's block and their best written sentence. Each weekday this month, we'll publish another novelist’s thoughts. Check back for novelists as varied as Neal Pollack, Rita Mae Brown and Joyce Carol Oates.

First Author: Gayle Brandeis



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