Sunday, March 01, 2009

Search String Questions

One of the great things about web traffic statistics is that they let you know what the search strings were that people typed before being directed to your pages. I have noticed that several of theses searches are in the form of questions. So... in no particular order, here are some of the questions that have led people to this blog, and my own answers:

How many pages in a novel chapter?

The answer depends on many variables, from the size of the page to the type of story being told. Perhaps a better question to ask would be: "Why do we have chapters at all?" We have them in part to manipulate the reader into putting the book down at a point whee we feel confident she/he will pick it up again. So a chapter length should have some relationship to the amount a reader might want to take in at one sitting.

How do I become a novelist?

Write a novel. There isn't a shortcut. Sorry about that.

Where does creativity come from?

It constantly streams from our unconscious minds. The trick is to train your conscious mind to entertain it. How does it get into the unconscious mind? I wish I knew. Sometimes it feels as if it is coming from outside. Other times you can see that it comes from the mind recycling things that have happened to you.

What is author intrusion?

Anything that makes the reader aware of the author in a way that distracts them from the story.
Is dyslexia real?


1 comment:

Mosher said...

Chapters seem to be optional these days. A handful of authors just leave a gap between little sections rather than numbering groups of them.

Reminds me of a review I saw reprinted a few years ago. It was for Pratchett's Colour of Magic, I think - or another of his earlier books. I'm sure it was The Times. Basically, they ripped it apart and said he had no future. "What kind of author doesn't use chapters?"

One that sells more books than that reviewer has seen in his lifetime? ;)