Sunday, April 26, 2009

How to Write your Novel (3)--and Why to Write It

A friend from my writing group sent a quotation from Nick Hornby. I love it. It's about my novel Katsuren, too. Maybe it's also about your book. Here it is:

"... it's also the job of artists to
offer warmth and hope and maybe even an escape from lives that occasionally seem
unendurably drab."

The "..." part is where he bemoans the tendency of writers who call themselves "literary" to be unbearably depressing in their world view. I'm sure he's right.

Optimism makes the world go round.

Optimism keeps Okinawa afloat, too. It's an island that lost one third of its population in war and took a beating that changed the actual, physical landscape. The people of Okinawa have a right to be depressed, but they chose optimism instead. Maybe that's why they have the longest natural lifespan in the world.

The theme of Katsuren is an optimistic one: We make our own histories by our thoughts and deeds, and through who and what we choose to love.

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