novels

A Prison Wherever He Turned (Stoner by John Williams)

July 22, 2017

The plot of John Williams’ 1965 novel, Stoner (NYRB Classics, 2006): Young man becomes assistant professor at University of Missouri, lives unhappy life, has undistinguished career, dies. You can hardly be blamed if you don’t find this particularly enticing, but make no mistake: Stoner (last name of the protagonist—sorry to disappoint) is a work of almost unbearable beauty. [...]

Novel Fridays: Writing on the Go

April 17, 2015

Happy Friday, novelists! Today’s post will be rather shorter than usual because I am currently on the road traveling. Of course, it occurred to me that this is great opportunity to consider how we might use the time we spend going from one place to another to benefit our novel writing [...]

Novel Fridays: Opening the Drawer

February 27, 2015

Greetings, novelists! I hope you’ve had productive weeks. As February comes to an end, we find ourselves three months out from the conclusion of NaNoWriMo. Now, it’s quite possible that you’re still working on your NaNo project–November 30 was simply a milestone for you and [...]

Novel Fridays: Structure

February 6, 2015

Happy Friday, novelists! I hope you had successful weeks. Once again, we will be delving into the different techniques we use when writing novels. Now you may have been wondering in our discussion of time last week: what about flashbacks? Or flash forwards? How are the events of my novel best arranged? Should they only proceed in sequential order? Or in other words: what should the structure of my novel be? [...]

Novel Fridays: Time

January 30, 2015

Hello, novelists! How did your writing go this week? Did it seem like the hours were flying by as you worked? Or did each minute drag  on and on in front of the blank page? Today, as you’ve likely guessed, we’ll continue our exploration of technique in novel writing with a discussion [...]