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Sunday, December 12, 2021

Fiction or History?


Whether he’s writing fiction or history, E.L. Doctorow believes in telling the truth. His novel, The March, was popular with critics and the masses alike. What was Doctorow's intention as he mixed fiction with history?


"My purpose for writing this book was to finish writing this book," the writer said matter-of-factly.


Doctorow found the subject of Sherman's march worth exploring. "Sherman's march uprooted an entire civilization. Freed slaves attached themselves to the march, and so did white people whose lives were disrupted, both poor and wealthy alike."


Among U.S. Generals, Doctorow says Sherman and Grant are the best writers. "Their memoirs are well worth reading." And more so than some memoirs, they attempt to tell the truth.


Learn more about E.L. Doctorow and his writing at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._L._Doctorow 

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Monday, December 06, 2021

Begin at the End

Was it Stephen Covey who first said "Begin with the end in mind?" Well, he said it, but surely this advice comes from long before Covey's repackaging. And it’ll certainly it'll be repackaged again and again. Here’s novelist John Irving’s spin.

Irving says he never begins writing a novel until he has decided on the end.

"I always start with the last sentence," Irving says. "I know exactly where I'm going. I have a far more fixed sense of the ending than the beginning. In the five, six, seven years it takes me to write a book, I always know the ending first and don't start writing until I know the last sentence. You need to know the ending to understand the tone and language to use. You need to know how to set everything up to get to where you're going."

Learn more about John Irving and his work at www.john-irving.com/