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Write the Novel YOU Want to Write

Updated: Oct 31, 2022

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Writing the novel you want to write requires reading novels that you wished you'd written. It takes a lot of work to write basic novels that are competent and worth reading. But there is a big gap between a competent novel and one that you, as a reader, return to over and over. That's the type of novel you want to write, and you can do it. It just takes time. A lot of time, usually.

The great writer Toni Morrison wrote “If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” And she's absolutely correct. Write the novel you want to read. For me, there's many novels out there that I return to every year or so, including Dennis Lehane's "Mystic River," Ernest Hemingway's "For Whom the Bell Tolls," Fyodor Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment," and others. Boy do I wish I'd written them. But that's not what happened. Instead, I read those books for inspiration. I read them for the journey they take me on, which removes me from the world in which I live, at least for a while. This is what you must set out to achieve. You likely won't get there--we're no Morrisons, Hemingways, or Dostoevskys. But we're unique in our own ways, so don't be discouraged. Get to it. And then work your hardest to write that novel you want to read. If you don't, who will?


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