The Question Marked #3: Novels

Sandy: You sometimes express your dislike for novels. You find them often boring and dready. Could you explain it a bit for our readers?

Burg: Well. (Coughs.) I think novels, or being a novelist, is the most common medium for most people getting creative or trying creative writing. Not that I don’t like that! I love it when people try to tell a story. But – here is my ‘but’ – due to its acceptable nature, it is an easy medium for mediocre storytelling. The market is so supersaturated with novels, but little to zero of the people involved have no idea about storytelling. Good novels are fairly rare. To elaborate. Storytelling is a highly deficit thing. You need to characterize your characters, need to know how to build drama and tension, need to know how to involve plot devices, plot points and find a good beginning and end. I may sound overly elitist and arrogant, but storytelling is very hard. (If done right, I mean.) Most people write with little knowledge of such things. To be honest: I find that boring. I read many novels from all kinds of writers. I’ve read A Song of Ice and Fire, Harry Potter, The Dark Tower, just to name the most popular. And most of them suck. There is nothing happening for hundreds of pages. There is built up to a 2 page outcome. There is no tension or drama. Limit by Frank Schätzing for example. You can’t write and write and write and then decide: Okay. A small twist. You need your story to start somewhere, go somewhere, and end somewhere. With a clear idea of how your story should look like. Hence I use an outline on all my stories. To sum it up: people, enjoy your novels. I may not like them. But now you at least know why. 

Published by N. Burg

N. Burg is a writer. He discovered his passion for writing at the age of 17. Since then he wrote a vast body of work. He also likes reading, cats, the manga One Piece, and thinking.

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