Writing Fiction is a Job: Top 10 Quotes

Writing Fiction is a Job: Top 10 Quotes

I don’t disagree with Henry Miller when he said, “Writing is its own reward.” I also believe that writers should be compensated fairly for their labor. Of all types of writing, fiction writing gets the least respect. Most people consider it a hobby (read: nonpaying job) because they have no idea how hard it is.

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Top 15 Movies Based on Novels

Top 15 Movies Based on Novels

More often than not, movies adapted from novels are disappointing. Perhaps it’s impossible to capture the complexity and nuances of a 300-page (or longer) novel in two hours. I chose my top 15 book-to-movie adaptations based on how well the directors interpreted the novels in film. The movie may not be 100 percent faithful to the book, but it successfully preserved the novel’s essence.

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In Praise of the Vilified Prologue: Top 12 Novels with Prologues

In Praise of the Vilified Prologue: Top 12 Novels with Prologues

In Elmore Leonard’s famous 10 rules for writing, the second rule is: avoid prologues. “They can be annoying,” he wrote. “A prologue in a novel is back story, and you can drop it in anywhere you want.”

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Where History and Fiction Meet: Top 15 Historical Novels

Where History and Fiction Meet: Top 15 Historical Novels

Historical fiction, the vast territory where history meets fiction, can be a story about prehistoric times or the Elizabethan era or the American Civil War. It can be a sweeping epic or a thriller or a bodice ripper. What is historical fiction? What are the qualities of a good historical novel?

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In Praise of the "Short and Sweet": Top 9 Novellas

In Praise of the "Short and Sweet": Top 9 Novellas

It’s torrid outside. It’s time for a summer fling—make that a literary summer fling. I’m talking about reading something short and sweet: a novella. It’s longer and more satisfying than a short story, without the “commitment” required by a novel.

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In Praise of the Here and Now: Top 12 Present-Tense Novels

In Praise of the Here and Now: Top 12 Present-Tense Novels

“September. It seems these luminous days will never end.” This is how James Salter’s 1967 novel, “A Sport and a Pastime,” begins. The unnamed narrator is describing Paris—in the present tense. It made me pause because countless writing workshops, articles, and panel discussions tell us the same thing: don't write your novel in the present tense.

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