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How to Write a Novel

Justine Larbalestier explained how she wrote a novel. Others followed. They are all wrong, however. Spreadsheets are not how you write a novel. Fucking horror of an idea that is. And typing? Typing is a secondary action, I assure you. It happens only after you've prepared yourself in the proper manner.

So.

This--

I mean this

--is all you need to write a novel:


  • Drugs.

  • Alcohol.

  • Nudity.



The ignorance of others bothers me, so please pass this around.

Thank you.

PS: Disclaimer: Do not try all three simultaneously. Over the day writing day, one must merge into the other. It is a progressive system.

Comments

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(Anonymous)
Sep. 8th, 2006 01:31 am (UTC)
I'm not sure I agree. Because (just for scientific purposes, you understand), I've tried combining drugs, alcohol, and nudity many times. So far, no novels.
benpeek
Sep. 8th, 2006 01:34 am (UTC)
it's not to be done at the same time. but! i added a disclaimer, to help people...
ashamel
Sep. 8th, 2006 02:00 am (UTC)
A lot of people have also combined typing with spreadsheets and didn't get anywhere either (but probably had less fun).
benpeek
Sep. 8th, 2006 05:28 am (UTC)
i'm all about putting the fun back into writing, i am.
ashamel
Sep. 8th, 2006 06:00 am (UTC)
Well, there's got to be some bloody reason to do it.
sarren
Sep. 8th, 2006 05:16 pm (UTC)
That original post was me. Anonymity not due to coyness, just due to cluelessness while travelling through small town America.

Anyway, I think I have tried the gradual merging of drugs, alcohol and nudity as well. I agree trying them all at once can be too distracting to write novels. But still, even when not trying all at once, no novels. I think I may need to add something extra. Perhaps some form of writing surface or perhaps a computer.
benpeek
Sep. 9th, 2006 06:24 am (UTC)
ah. right. i thought you were someone else commenting--anyhow, no harm, hello, in fact!

enjoy your time through america. perhaps you can merge drugs, alcohol and nudity as you go through it.

:)
bodhichitta0
Sep. 8th, 2006 01:34 am (UTC)
Is that spreadsheet dude serious? Or is that a joke?
benpeek
Sep. 8th, 2006 01:35 am (UTC)
i think they're quite serious about that. i can barely work a spreadsheet program, myself.
bodhichitta0
Sep. 8th, 2006 01:38 am (UTC)
I would rather hang myself than do a spreadsheet about something I wrote.

Oh, unless I had so much money from it I HAD to. ;-)
benpeek
Sep. 8th, 2006 01:49 am (UTC)
if i had so much money i had too, i'd hire someone :)
speshal_k
Sep. 8th, 2006 02:30 am (UTC)
Spreadsheets are the best thing ever! You're a freak! :-P



(Yes - am deliberately being inflammatory. You freak!!)
benpeek
Sep. 8th, 2006 05:30 am (UTC)
do you want me to tell everyone about your 'obsession'?
drjon
Sep. 8th, 2006 01:45 am (UTC)
I'm absolutely positive artbroken will agree with you.
benpeek
Sep. 8th, 2006 01:51 am (UTC)
he's all class, just like me.
leebattersby
Sep. 8th, 2006 02:10 am (UTC)
Ach, what works for Larbelestier works for her, what works for lake and bear works for them. You did something different I bet, and so did I.

Only thing that matters is the result, not how you get there. I actually did make a spreadhseet for my first novel, a very simple one-sheet one showing word lengths for each chapter, just so that I could keep track of my pacing on the rewrites. You know, I kinda trust myself to remember what my characters are doing, but then I've never believed that whole "my charcters just write themselves" bollocks.

I'm not bothering for my second: it's shorter, a completely different style, and may only consist of two or three large sections anyway.

jlundberg
Sep. 8th, 2006 02:51 am (UTC)
Nudity! I knew I was missing something.
benpeek
Sep. 8th, 2006 05:31 am (UTC)
remember, it's progressive!
catsparx
Sep. 8th, 2006 03:41 am (UTC)
Now see, the nudity thing is just wrong. It is farkin cold down the 'Gong today. If I were attempting to write in the nude, my teeth-chatterin would seriously affect not only my ability to type, but aLSO my choice of words. And whatsmore, it would freak the cats.
benpeek
Sep. 8th, 2006 05:35 am (UTC)
see, once again, the problem comes back not to what's right and what's wrong, but the fact that you live in the 'gong.

see how that rhymes :)
catsparx
Sep. 8th, 2006 07:37 am (UTC)
you are so prejudiced! the Gong is ace!
benpeek
Sep. 8th, 2006 02:20 pm (UTC)
i think it tries to kill me every time i go there.
catsparx
Sep. 8th, 2006 03:43 am (UTC)
and furthermore, the last thing I want to be doing while reading a book is imagining the author nekkid. So keep yer pants on, OK?
leebattersby
Sep. 8th, 2006 03:44 am (UTC)
Especially if you're reading a Colleen McCullough book.

Although if you are, you probably have enough problems already...
catsparx
Sep. 8th, 2006 03:47 am (UTC)
AB-SO-LUTELY.

At some point when I'm drunk this weekend i shall make a list of authors who I don't mind imagining nekkid while I'm reading their book. I expect it to be a very short book.

anyone know if David Duchovny writes books?
leebattersby
Sep. 8th, 2006 04:51 am (UTC)
anyone know if David Duchovny writes books?

Fuck, I'm not even convinced he can read books...
ashamel
Sep. 8th, 2006 05:00 am (UTC)
I don't know, he seems a fairly smart guy for what it's worth (probably not a great deal, I suspect).
(Deleted comment)
benpeek
Sep. 8th, 2006 02:17 pm (UTC)
of sorts is exactly right ;)

actually, i heard the first one was okay.

but lets not forget tara moss writes novels, too.
claredudman
Sep. 8th, 2006 04:16 am (UTC)
Spreadsheets are for wrapping yourself up in after you've finished the nudity bit and going on to the drugs and/or alcohol bit. I thought everyone knew that.
benpeek
Sep. 8th, 2006 05:38 am (UTC)
some people aren't as wise and knowledgable as me and you, clare. it's why we must educate them.
(Deleted comment)
benpeek
Sep. 8th, 2006 05:37 am (UTC)
when i'm not stoned, drunk and naked... me! it's fucking boring and lonely!
(Deleted comment)
benpeek
Sep. 8th, 2006 02:19 pm (UTC)
and you claim to be imaginative :P
ex_chrisbil
Sep. 8th, 2006 01:05 pm (UTC)
Naked isn't so much fun on your own.

Well, not for long.
detritus2099
Sep. 8th, 2006 01:37 pm (UTC)
Hold on, hold on. The nudity you speak of - is it yours, or someone else's?

Because that really is starting to sound like an expensive way to write a book.
benpeek
Sep. 8th, 2006 02:19 pm (UTC)
it is all open to interpretation. that's why my way of writing a book suits everyone.
(Anonymous)
Sep. 11th, 2006 07:07 pm (UTC)
My Writing Process
Over the years my writing process has become more and more complicated and inconvenient. First, I heat the blade with a lighter. Then I melt the wax. Once I'm done ripping my clothing into little pieces, I use the blood to cool the wax a little. And then the handcuffs don't hurt as much. Although it is tough to move with all that leather. Typing with one's dick may seem at first an imposition (and an impossibility for some), but over time it becomes to seem a privilege.

Spread sheets are optional.

JeffV
benpeek
Sep. 11th, 2006 10:45 pm (UTC)
Re: My Writing Process
you're just so emo, jeff.

:)
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