As a mere writer of published, pulp-action with a dash-splash phrase here and there of elevated consciousness, I really do get a question now and then about “how-to” write novels. One just the other day – a friend asked if I would ever write an outline book on how to write a novel. First off, who in hell am I to do so? And otherwise, such a “how-to” extensive study in wordsmithing, professional timing and luck already exists.
“Luck” you ask? Oh yes on several levels, but no matter what, luck-fortune favors the prepared and you’d best prepare by having a damn fine book done before you try to sell one or yourself. In short, that means, write! A writer never stops writing. Its an addiction. Can you or can you not, put the music to it?
Lightning is hard to capture in a jar. But on the artsy subject of learning the mostly artsy-unlearnable, the world is full of how-to, rote, novel writing via articles, books, video-and-in-person seminars. I have never been to a single one. We call it “seminar writing,” where the instructor advises you, like to “put a smell on every page,” and the novice writer hurries back to their manuscript and adds a candle or a perfume on every page. That’s not music, that’s just… stinky. Often these sessions are taught by small, and even big college professors with some sort of “literature” degree, who have never written a novel. Just critics I guess, staring into the hole in the ground but never having touched the shovel.
From me? I have no such outline or rules. All I have to offer are random, vague observations. In the 1960s, I was a bit of an artist, and pieces of my acrylic artwork was selected to go on a tour in New Jersey and New York. I had to tell all my high school teachers I would be “legally” gone a few days, and my gym teacher Tony Tetro read the school pass, looked up at me and said,
“Art…is for the artist, Hochheim.”
I never forgot that moment, because…it is. And that is my vague quote-tip of the day (or month?). All, in as much as to say, do you have a penchant for the music? A rare aroma, or stinky? A little lightning? And a suitable jar laying around?
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