KP Book Review: Aspects of the Novel

by E.M. Forster

This book was written by an acclaimed fiction writer at the turn of the twentieth century and tries to define what elements make a novel a novel.  As a result, this is more of a book on what a novel is than how one should go about writing one.  That being said, because it is written by a novelist, it is rather easy to make applications to your own writing.  aspectsofthenovelreview

The book is structured according to the seven elements that Forster believes are essential to a novel: story, characters, plot, fantasy, prophecy (the extent to which a story reaches toward universal themes), pattern, and rhythm.  Each element gets a full chapter on it—with the exception of characters, which get a full two chapters on them as befits their prominent place within the novel.

The best sections of this book are arguably the chapters on characters and plot, as in these chapters Forster gives some of the best descriptions of what makes a novel quintessentially a novel.  Forster does a really good job of pointing out how the depiction of the internal life of the character is what makes a novel quintessentially a novel, as well as how this natural tendency of the novel ends up making plot less important.  [Read more…]

Profile photo of Josiah DeGraaf
Josiah DeGraaf started reading when he was four, started writing fiction when he was six and hasn’t stopped doing either ever since. After growing up with seven younger siblings, he eventually found himself graduated and attending Patrick Henry College, where he plans on majoring in literature with a minor in pedagogy (it’s a fancy Greek word for education).
Someday, Josiah hopes to write fantasy novels that have worlds as imaginative as Brandon Sanderson’s, characters as complex as Orson Scott Card’s, character arcs as dynamic as Jane Austen’s, themes as deep as Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s, and stories as fun as Wayne Thomas Batson’s. Plans for obtaining those impossible goals include listening to a lot of Hans Zimmer, ignoring college work so that he can find time to write, and avoiding coffee at all costs.

KP Subscriber Self-Publishes Her First Novel!

Kingdom Pen thanks Hailey for this insightful interview! Hailey recently completed and published her first novel, Jaded: The Silent Whisperer. The first in the Jaded trilogy, you can find this book on Amazon for print and in an Ebook edition.

Kingdom Pen: Kingdom Pen’s motto is “Write for the Kingdom.” What first inspired you to follow Christ and write for His Kingdom?Hailey_Woerner_Interview

Hailey Woerner: That’s a good question to start with. I’ve always loved to write, and it’s been my dream ever since I was nine to write and publish a novel. I think the one thing that inspired me to write for Christ was the realization that many books labeled under “Christian” are, obviously, tailored towards Christians.

But If there’s anything I’ve learned from the bible, it’s that God wants to be heard by those who are broken, and don’t know him. That’s why my books won’t be put in the “Christian” category. I want to reach those who aren’t Christians, and maybe God can speak to them through the theme of my story. My goal is to reach as many people as possible, and to do that, I will be putting more and more hints of the Spirit as I write each book. Less in the first, then work my way up. That make’s sense, right?

KP: We’ve all received the trademark “You do what now for fun?” looks when we tell others we love to write! What part about writing do you love the most and why?

HW: Oh, my. There are a lot of things I enjoy about writing…but I guess my favorite part would have to be creating the characters. The reason being, it’s an awesome feeling to create this whole new person. One with goals, struggles, and real feelings. There’s just something special about creating a new character—choosing the perfect name for them and giving them values. My novel is very character driven, so that might be part of it as well.

[Read more…]