By A. S Burack
Ebook by way of Burack, A. S
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Extra info for Techniques of novel writing
But I admit that keeping open house has its awkward side, especially if you are writing a saga or a sequence of novels. With Angels Falling, the longest novel I have ever written, spanning a vast period of history, for the first time I had to make notes. Historical headings were on one side, on the facing page two columns: one to record vague ideas as to the content of the next few chapters, the other a more precise synopsis of what actually happened. In this makeshift way I was able to keep some kind of authority over those wayward characters.
When the precise time in the past is unimportant, the writer can use a wealth of subtle clues to inform the reader about a time shift. I doubt whether it should be necessary to introduce an elaborate gimmick into the novel, or into any part of it, in order to distinguish one area of time from another. If the scenes are truly in different parts of the calendar, some factor will naturally emerge in the writing which will indicate the time shift. It is the writer's task to isolate that factor and highlight it.
The first five novels, up to My Brother Michael, are exploratory novels, sharing a theme and little else. They bear obvious marks of a tyro experimenting with different forms. They vary a good deal in structure, and make some use of sharp differences in setting. , the first, was a chase story written, concerto-fashion, on two levels. As I said, it is ostensibly a fast, episodic adventure tale embodying familiar thriller elements heightened by the setting and by deliberate use of coincidence. Above and dominating the thriller-plot run the love story and the main theme together.