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In Search of the Novel
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eight workshops

ten novels
ten novelists
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[Teacher-talknovel] In Search of the Novel #3g

From: Lindsay Ball <>
Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2012 08:50:53 -0700

Are novels real? I think one of the most interesting things is finding out
where the idea for a novel comes from. I always want to ask an author
where he got the idea for the story he wrote. We often find out that the
story has been taken from real life. I remember when I was introduced to
the poem "Out Out" by Robert Frost and learned that he wrote the poem years
after learning about a young man's death in a similar situation. It was
that moment I learned how often authors and poets turned to real life for

I wonder how often we read a novel that is based on the author's life,
personality, or actions in some way. I believe that it is often. I also
believe that if the story is not about the author, it is about something
the author has seen, heard about, or read somewhere. This is one way that
show how novels are real. Even when we read a story about a far off
imaginary place in a time we have never experienced, there is always some
point of reality in it. Authors live in reality, and they can only right
what they know. The *Harry Potter* series is full of magic, spells, and
wizards. Things that we never experience, but J.K. Rowling has put reality
in it. She writes about friendship, love, decisions, and good vs. evil.
 These are all part of life and based in reality. Therefore, her novels
are real.

The characters in novels also make the stories real. The characters face
problems. They must make decisions. This is real. Readers can connect
with this, and the novel becomes even more real.

I also believe that novels are as real as a reader makes them. When a
reader puts a lot of time and emotion into a novel, it becomes so real. I
remember working in a shoe store and thinking about a novel I was reading
at the time. It consumed me. I wondered what was going to happen next. I
put myself in the characters' shoes and decided what I would do in the
situations. The novel was real to me. If readers devote themselves to a
novel, it becomes very real to them.

A setting can also add a sense of reality to a novel. When a story is set
in a real place, readers can add understanding to it. The reader can make
vivid connections with the setting and make the novel come to life.


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Received on Thu Feb 23 2012 - 08:58:23 EST

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