Friday, April 27, 2007

Why write a novel? That's a good question...

Your name here is a story from the BBC Magazine about why people feel compelled to write novels, even though the odds are decidedly stacked against that novel even getting completed, let alone published.

The authors quoted seem to like the "climbing a mountain" metaphor for the question: Why do it?
"The truth is that many of us write novels for the same reason that George Mallory gave for climbing Everest - 'Because it's there'," wrote novelist Sheila Doughty recently in the Daily Telegraph. "There is nothing more satisfying than doing the hardest thing, even though you may risk all in the attempt."
I especially liked this response from Michael Byrne, a journalist from south London.
"Fun? Is climbing a mountain an inch a day using only fingertips fun? Not fun, but worthwhile. As you create characters, do all sorts of things to them and watch how they react, you learn more about life, and your own place in it."

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