Tuesday, February 23, 2010

the novel is about other people

"I don't know why so many writers, unpublished and published, should find this so hard to grasp: the novel is about other people. A first novel must always be about other people. The function of the novel isn't self-expression: it isn't to sort out your life, it isn't to change society. Above all, it isn't about you. You must use your own experience, direct and indirect, but only as the purposes of the story dictate. You must realize that you yourself don't matter. Only the work matters. You have to get rid of yourself, or at least try to."

-John Braine, How to Write a Novel.

Mr. Braine wrote Room at the Top, The Crying Game, and eleven other novels.



At 10:15 AM, Blogger Tracer said...

Love this. I used to have an art teacher that berated students for saying their goal was self-expression. "I express myself when I fart, not when I make art," he'd say.


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