A Novel Approach

Chapter 28: Chapter Endings

A good chapter is like a treasure map.  It will lure you in.  It will lead you through uncharted territory. And, at the end, it will not yield the treasure — it will just make you want it more. What … Continue reading

 
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Number 27: A slap from the velvet glove

  “That’s not writing; that’s typing.” Jack Kerouac was on the wrong end of that review, one spoken by Truman Capote but, nevertheless, a review. If there is anything more contentious than the relationship between author and critic it would … Continue reading

Mr Burns
 
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A Novel Approach: And our winners are…..

  Entering a literary contest is a bit like eating oysters, or riding a vertiginous loop-de-loop at the carnival, or taking a nip of baby food.  The experience will make one queasy, the rewards are uncertain, and somewhere in the … Continue reading

 
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A Novel Approach: Number 26 What do writers do?

Writers write, of course. So do engineers, judges, shop clerks, and prison guards. What writers do, however, is something different – writers tell us about the world in a new way, a previously unseen way, with a story written from a … Continue reading

new light old windows
 
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A Novel Approach: Number 25 Taking Research to a Higher Level

Part Two: “You are to start tomorrow as their maid. If you do well, you will be paid eight stuivers a day. You will live with them.” I pressed my lips together. Don’t look at me like that, Griet.,” my … Continue reading

Vermeer 2
 
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A Novel Approach: Number 24 Research and Accuracy in Historical Fiction — In Exquisitio Veritas

Part One: Readers with some passing knowledge of literature might be startled by reading in The Three Musketeers a passage in which D’Artagnan refers to Gulliver’s travels more than a hundred years Jonathan Swift invented them. Dumas had got it … Continue reading

There be Monsters
 
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A Novel Approach: Number 23 — Web versus Strand: The Spider’s Dilemma

A single thread can take the spider to the prey, but a web can catch more food and keep it safe until needed. What could this possibly have to do with A Novel Approach to writing? The answer lies in … Continue reading

spider_web_med
 
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A Novel Approach: Number 22 In Subordination….

Out of Step “Somebody had decided that all these soldiers marching around town needed recreation, so the pier—a fishing pier hitherto known simply as Municipal Pier and whose claim to fame was that down at the end of it was … Continue reading

Out of Step
 
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A Novel Approach Number 21 ‘Elementary, my dear…’

Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon and Paris policewoman Sophie Neveu overcame one obstacle after the other in a never- ending series of lucky breaks that depended on walkie-talkies that could not work, Swiss banks whose passwords were written by Sudoku gamers, … Continue reading

Berretto-Sherlock-Holmes
 
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A Novel Approach, Number 20: Don’t harvest without first planting the seeds

“Grouard yanked his walkie-talkie off his belt and attempted to call for backup. All he heard was static…” “Au secours!” the guard’s voice yelled. … “Au secours!” he shouted again into his radio. Static. “He can’t transmit,” Sophie realized, recalling … Continue reading

 
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