Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Tod Goldberg: Natural Selection

Please visit Tod Goldberg's site and read the ten things that irk him most about some prospective writing students' manuscripts.

I'll post one and two so that you can get an idea of what he's up against.

1. What's with people calling their books 'fictional novels?' Is there some other kind of novel I'm not aware of? In a related question..."

2. Don't you have to know, before you finish your book, if it is fiction or nonfiction? Here are two quotes taken directly from cover letters: "This novel is a memoir, I think. I probably won't know until I finish it." And: "This story is true, but I've changed some of the issues to dramatize it, but it is still nonfiction." Uh, no. If you change it to dramatize it, that makes it fiction. Just ask Jayson Blair. And further, why would you take a class on novel writing if you're writing true stories?

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