You get a backhoe and dig a BIG hole. You back up a cement truck and pour three BIG mounds of cement. While cement hardens, you cut down two giant oaks, strip the leaves, and throw the trunks with limbs in the big hole on top of the cement. You pour, 100 gallons of glue, a quarter ton of bolts and nails, five porcelain toilets, and three bathtubs. You add 800 light bulbs of various sizes throughout the growing muddle. You mix three hundred gallons of paint in different, preferable incompatible (noncliché) colors, and splash the paint at random over all you’ve assembled. Let the mess simmer for five months during a horribly hot summer, if possible. Add 3800 roof tiles–no need to remove from the packaging. Voila! A house.
*Structure–beginning, middle, and end.
Writers need structure, an overall outline that directs happenings, action, emotional arcs, and prioritizes ideas and timing of information transfer. Literary stories have images and movement that are delivered logically structured on a timeline. Author ideas and thoughts generated by chance and randomly applied to story, no matter the quality of idea or thought, are not as effective as imagined elements structured into coherent, logical web the supports story momentum.
Fiction writers need altruism and must: not write for fame and fortune, not write to be published to claim “author” at social gatherings, but write to engage, entertain, and enlighten readers by creating and telling a story well and building characters specific for story understanding and meaning.
*Creativity and imagination.
Writers need to imagine and create, not remember and describe. Imagination for fiction does not come from sitting alone in a dark, sound proof, unheated room until memories emerge from author life experiences like sea creatures from a peat bog. In fiction, scenes are imagined that move the plot, build characters consistent with the timeline, and relate to purpose and theme of the story. Authors default to their own worldview and life experiences fail to reach advantages of imagined fiction available to the world beyond self.
*”The Miracle of Madame Villard” is the story of a boy on a mission to find a cure for his dying mother. Set in the 18th century France, the story and all elements of story are imagined. You can read it online free. http://www.storyinliteraryfiction.com/original-stories-william-h-coles/the-miracle-of-madame-villard/
If you find these ideas ring true, WOULD YOU SHARE THIS POST? LITERARY (character-based dramatic plots, theme and meaning, unique characterization) FICTION (imagined) needs writers who train in traditional successful literary techniques. I’m trying to spread the word.
You could SHARE THIS LINK too for original story examples, essays, interviews, a workshop, and illustrations. storyiniteraryfiction.com. (free)
4 thoughts on “How do unsuccessful novel writers build houses?”
LOL. Good formula to kill literature. Is there really a dearth of mediocre mainstream novels? Not to say your formula is bad, but honestly, take away the list of great writers who’ve failed to follow such advice and we’re left with bones.
Mr. Hoffman. Many thanks for comment. Please consider I don’t teach or write to be mainstream, and I want to discover techniques to create fiction (imagined) stories with written works that are lasting and considered superior, i.e. literary. Best regards, WHC
Love this story. Long after today I will remember this story
Terrific!! Thank you for sending this. It made my day have meaning and value!