Alice Hoffman sez writing novels is a cinch!

Some inspiration. . .

WHAT THE HELL

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This assemblage of tips from novelist Alice Hoffman purports to show you how to write a novel. To summarize:

1) Start with an image.

2) Write lists (random words mainly).

3) Recall a memory.

4) Write a first line.

5) Start writing the novel.

Ah, were it only that easy! It always amuses me when someone tries to boil down the process of writing a novel to a few simple steps, as if it were akin to home brewing or building a birdhouse. Usually you get a few laughably obvious points (“Write a first line”), tacked on to a couple of little tricks the writer has picked up over her career. Hoffman’s list could easily be sifted into one line: “Open your imagination to key images and memories, focusing on a set of important words that you will use to evoke them; then write your novel.”

More seriously, I find…

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