Rules for Novelists — Rules for Living

In Vermont, we’ve skipped from the Ides of November to the middle of January — just like that — and none of us have even eaten any Thanksgiving turkey.

The 13-year-old, on her second snow day this week, calculates how long into June the school year already stretches. She’s up early anyway, curled on the couch with her cats and her library book, immersed in an imaginary fictive world. I leave her be. The snow shoveling can wait.

Here’s rules 1 and 10 from Jonathan Franzen’s “Ten Rules for the Novelist.” I’m darn sure I nail the relentless rule at least.

The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator…. You have to love before you can be relentless.

— Jonathan Franzen, The End of the End of the Earth


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s