Sunday, May 29, 2016

Book Review: How to Write an Imaginative Novel



The first few lines of ‘How to write an Imaginative Novel’ by Robert Trainor attracted my attention. “I retired at 58 and began my first novel..” Here I am, retired at 58 and wanting to write something, and hence, I read further with great interest.
At the outset,  Robert outlines the process of beginning writing in chapter 1. Then discusses the first problem, the author has to face, of naming characters. After a brief talk, the care one should take for the next important issue, naming a set of places for the characters to reside is described. Thereafter he goes into the next critical task, imagining events, with warning that imagination is different from recollection of the past.
The next chapter is about plot and the composition of the plot. Why plots should include matters capable of attracting attention from the readers, like murder, sex (the easy ones), political infighting, and forms of romance. And the care to be taken to avoid contentious issues.
Thereafter Robert goes into construction of the plot. Using the metaphor of a line without clothes, he tells how characters are added making the line heavy and eyeful. This is followed by a discussion on cover creation. An insight into beginning of a novel, the next chapter, is followed by another chapter on outline, first draft, drafts after drafts till it becomes uncountable by fingers.
Then comes the happiest and the final part of writing a novel, uploading it to kindle.
Though the title of this book may make one very happy, this book imagines that the reader is in possession of imagination. The author has done a wonderful job of covering all the other parts of writing a novel. He has rightly shown the importance of a rather disciplined approach in using computer for having the document accepted easily by the publishing sites. I cannot agree with the author’s views on the use of romantic or murderous twists. This technique for garnering attention from the reader, I think is a short cut, liable for overuse and also, too common.

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