Friday, October 24, 2008

The novel prep begins

As per instructions, I wrote a list of my likes and dislikes. This has made me re-think the plot that I've been cooking up.

I could only think of three things I dislike in fiction, and even these have their exceptions. The "like" list could have gone on forever. But the top ten are here, in all their sick and twisted glory:

Quirky, deeply flawed,conflicted and/or unsavory characters
Narrators who are clearly out of their mind
Murders or the contemplation thereof
Lists, diary entries and letters embedded into the narrative
A small cast of characters
Sentences that are neither too short or too long
Unexpected plot twists and sidetracks
Dystopian or utopian settings
Characters who have esoteric knowledge
Surprise endings that are reasonable

Love stories
Lots of dialogue
Long descriptions of visuals

Image note: Portrait of The Marquis de Sade c.1761
When I think "sick and twisted" this is the first name that comes to mind. And no, I'm not going to write anything like one of his novels. Even in this day and age, it could get me locked up (just like it did him).
Charles-Amédée-Philippe van Loo

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