Thursday, September 08, 2005

How to Write a Good 'Literary' Novel...

Before I actually start this post I've got to give an update.
Right now, I'm enjoying Spanish more than french. I absolutely love Señora Bey who is muy loca and extremely funny. I'm also understanding Russian better now that I've been going to class everyday though the drive is loooonnnngggg! French is alright. I also love Mrs. Haynam, my english teacher.
Okay now on to the reason For this post.
*warning, this post may turn into a rant and be rather sarcastic. Proceed at your own risk*

I never mentioned it, but over the summer for my english class, I had to read and take notes on a book called Beloved by Toni Morrison. It's one of those literary novels that college classes are in love with and because I'm taking English Ap. I had to read it. Right from the start, I knew I was in trouble...

So anyway, since this is not the first book that I've read like this (This book reminded me a lot of The Poisonwood Bible And Wicked Though not as much with the latter) I've compiled a list of how to write a literary novel...

How to Write a Literary Novel, (and Earn Money Doing it)

1. Decide you are going to write a literary novel
2.Sit down at the computer, or with a notebook, and begin writing
3. Have the book's main characters be girls or women.
4. The book Must make absolutely no sense!
5. If the book does make sense then got to #6 the following (do it if the book doesn't make sense too)
6. Have a chapter that's really odd, from the point of view of a random animal, or has no punctuation. (or All of the above)
7. Make the book at least a hundred pages longer than necessary
8. Make up a bunch of junk that could be considered "symbolisim"
9. Have so much of this "symbolism" that people could pretty much make everything in the book symbolic.
10. At least one sex scene is required (This may be an implied sex scene see #6)
11. After it's published and people begin to approach you about it's mature themes and symbolism agree that both are in the book even though you never really put them there to begin with.

Alright. So that's about it. Sorry if it doesn't make any sense it's just really frustrating. I really do think that Barbera Kingsolver and Toni Morrison both woke up one day and were like "I think I'll write a novel today." They began typing and presto. You get Beloved and The Poisonwood Bible. I could actually go on about the stupidity of Beloved for several more pages but I won't. Besides I do have to admit that I like symbolism. I've written a couple of symbolic poems and whether it was put there intentionally or not, I had a thought about a place that might be symbolic in Dances With Wolves (The movie) I was watching it one day when I realized or at least I felt that Kevin Costener's horse and the wolve he befriends are both symbolic. The wolf of his future, the horse of his past. And when the horse is killed it symbolizes the fact that he can't go back to his past. When the wolf is killed it's symbolic of the future of the Indians and Costener's future. He can't live with the Indians.

That's an example of how you can take just about anything and make it symbolic. Okay so...I think that's about the end of it. Or at least, the end of the rant. You'll probably be hearing a lot more about Beloved because in english we're going to be analizing it to death. Yipee! *rolls eyes*


Penney said...

I love it! =)

robhandel said...

...or, you're just too ignorant to understand the symbolism in any of those works. I'm not even a fan of those in particular, but I think that you are terribly incorrect when you say that the symbolism in any of those is unintentional or invalid. Really, think about it. Why would these women spend so much time writing these books if they don't have something to say?

Anonymous said...

Try reading modern literary fiction, like The Surrendered by chang rae lee, or jhumpta lahiri's interpreter of maladies. Your comments about literary fiction seem uninformed and a bit silly.