The Secret Miracle: The Novelist's Handbook

The Secret Miracle: The Novelist's Handbook

by Daniel Alarcón
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The Secret Miracle: The Novelist's Handbook by Daniel Alarcón

The world's best contemporary writers—from Michael Chabon and Claire Messud to Jonathan Lethem and Amy Tan—engage in a wide-ranging, insightful, and oft- surprising roundtable discussion on the art of writing fiction

Drawing back the curtain on the mysterious process of writing novels, The Secret Miracle brings together the foremost practitioners of the craft to discuss how they write. Paul Auster, Roddy Doyle, Allegra Goodman, Aleksandar Hemon, Mario Vargas Llosa, Susan Minot, Rick Moody, Haruki Murakami, George Pelecanos, Gary Shteyngart, Daniel Alarcón, and others take us step by step through the alchemy of writing fiction, answering everything from nuts-and-bolts queries—"Do you outline?"—to perennial questions posed by writers and readers alike: "What makes a character compelling?"

From Stephen King's deadpan distinction between novels and short stories ("Novels are longer and have more s**t in them") to Colm Toibin's anti-romanticized take on his characters ("They are just words") to José Manuel Prieto's mature perspective on the anxieties of influence ("Influences are felt or weigh you down more when young"), every page contains insights found nowhere else.

With honesty, humor, and elegance, The Secret Miracle gives both aspiring writers and lovers of literature a master class in the art of writing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780805087147
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 04/13/2010
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 5.58(w) x 8.38(h) x 1.02(d)

About the Author

Daniel Alarcón is the author of Lost City Radio, which was named a 2007 Best Book by the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and others.

826 National is a network of youth tutoring, writing, and publishing centers located in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Ann Arbor, Chicago, Seattle, and Boston.

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The Secret Miracle: The Novelist's Handbook 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
MichaelTravisJasper More than 1 year ago
In this "handbook for novelist," many fiction writers have submitted answers to a list of questions concerning many aspects of this profession or art. It is very interesting to compare how various accomplished writers address the same topics in different and sometimes polar-opposite ways. It is informative and sometimes entertaining (at least for fellow authors). Michael Travis Jasper, author of the novel, "To Be Chosen"