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Thursday, March 25, 2021

Chronology is Not Plot

     Writing a novel doesn't get any easier the second or the eleventh time you do it. And unfortunately, you won't have fans in your writing room to urge you on. There'll be no applause. Just month after month of putting it down and crossing it out and recasting the sentence once again. Everyone who has a life thinks he has a novel to write. And he or she may. But very few people understand that life is not the novel, that chronology is not plot.

     Writing isn't easy. Simply because you have access to a pen, some paper, and a dictionary does not mean that you can write a novel any more than having access to a piano means you can play the Goldberg Variations. Anyone can make noise. It is music we're after. Anyone can write on and on indefinitely. We're after the definite article.

John Dufresne, Is Life Like That? 2010

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