1. livingin360
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    livingin360 New Member

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    Want to get into writing again.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by livingin360, May 17, 2011.

    I was wondering if anyone would have advice for a person who would like to write novels that vividly paint the environment and flow of the story as you progress through the book. I am very new to writing and was thinking of starting off by reading a very popular book that sort of carries the style I'd like to have. I would like to end up writing a book like the description above but which also has existential philosophical rhythms carrying out within the book to bring the reader into the mind of the character and teach them deeper aspects to being a human. Do you have any suggestions of where i should start?
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, my view is that you're piling an awful lot of ambitious goals onto this novel, and it sounds like you may be prioritizing those goals above character and story. Can you clarify a little more?

    ChickenFreak
     
  3. livingin360
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    livingin360 New Member

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    Well I really don't plan on writing a serious novel i just want to learn to write well and in the direction i want. It's sort of just for practice. I was just wondering if there is a good novel you can suggest that i could start reading that i could use for creative inspiration. I was thinking of something with a lot of depth and a good story with emphasis on painting the characters uniquely existentially.
     
  4. StrangerWithNoName
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    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

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    Perhaps "never let me go" , "the desert of the Tartars" or anything from Kafka and Dostovjeskj.
     
  5. James Scarborough
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    James Scarborough Member

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    Stranger has the right idea. You can't go too far wrong reading Kafka, Dostoyevski, or other great novelists and writers. However, reading foreign language writers in translation may not be the most helpful way to develop your own style.

    I'd recommend starting with books originally written in English, rather than translations, such as Hemingway's "Sun Also Rises".
     
  6. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've read both the original German and the English version of "The Metamorphosis" and the English translation is pretty well done and accurate imo (however, note that my German isn't perfect). Though if you can read German I suggest reading that of course.

    Are the books suggested up until now what you've been looking for when it comes to genre?
     
  7. StrangerWithNoName
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    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

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    I've read the english translation of the desert of the Tartars, or the Tartar steppe,and besides the title it's pretty well done. I aslo think that the best introspective novels were written by mitteleuropean (Italo Svevo, Kafka, Buzzati, Joyce in his triestian period) or russian authors because they were drawn in a more contemplative environment....especially in the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.
     
  8. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    You can plan out the plot all you want, but when it comes to character development and philosophical themes, the only way it can convincingly arise is on its own as you write it. Also, when it comes to themes, they have to be subtle. People who study and analyze novels want to pick them apart on their own, and if you try too hard to emphasize a theme, it will come across as too obvious and readers will feel spoon-fed, which isn't a good thing.
     
  9. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    By "vivdly paint the enviroment", I'm assuming you mean extremely descriptive writing, something that really gives you the feeling of time and place. One of the most descriptive writers I've read is James A. Michener, who specialized in mostly historical novels, but wrote other things, too. If historicals are your thing, then I think his best are probably "Mexico", "Centennial" and "The Covenant". Shorter works of his that are also quite descriptive are "Tales of the South Pacific" (the book on which the musical "South Pacific" was based) and "Miracle in Seville".

    Other works that give a real sense of time and place are Liam O'Flaherty's "The Informer", Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird", Phillip Roth's "The Plot Against America", Ernest Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea", and anything by Anthony Trollope (if you're into Victorian English politics and society). For vivid descriptions of processes and human interactions (which many readers would find more compelling than physical environment), I would strongly recommend C.P. Snow's "The Masters", Allan Drury's "Advise and Consent" and E.M. Forster's "A Passage to India".

    Good luck!
     
  10. funkybassmannick
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    funkybassmannick Contributing Member

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    Remember that you can read all day, and that will help your writing immensely, but the only real way to get better at writing is to start writing. Continue to read every day, but also spend time each day writing. I think doing both on a daily basis is the best way to grow as a writer. Remember that, in writing, nothing will be as good as you want it to be at first, don't get frustrated and just keep at it and your style will get better with practice.

    As far as what books I would suggest, I just finished "The Hunger Games," by Suzanne Collins. A brilliant read with an amazing setting that becomes only more vivid as you go.
     
  11. Malik
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    Malik New Member

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    In terms of illustrating the environment, I'd recommend Thomas Hardy- I read Far from the Madding crowd by him and you can really picture some of his descriptins of the countryside.
    Poetry might be a good thing to look at as well; lots of poets wrote about nature in a kind of mourning sense, when the industrial revolution was beginning... :S Hope this is helpful!
     

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