Keep remembering that you can please some of the readers some of the time, and some of the readers most of the time, but sometimes you will please only yourself, and you can never please all of the readers all of the time.
Good advice from Jane Smiley in 13 Ways of looking at the Novel.
This has been a long read, not only because the book itself is long but because I took a break to focus on other things. My engagement with the book started soon after I started a local book group and felt the need to engage with novels beyond my historical themed interest.
Jane’s take on the novel and how it engages with the reader spoke to me, the relationship between author, paper and reader continuing to do so. Significantly, so does the quote above. This echoes with the advice I regularly give new writers – write the book you would like to read (unless you’re only out to make money, then read and follow the ‘how to write a novel’ books).
Jane’s analysis of the novel and how readers engage together with the little gems she imparts such as that quoted above make it a text I would recommend to new writers looking for guidance on what and how to write.