What Norman Mailer and I Have In Common – Day 154

As you can see on the right, I’m currently reading The Gang That Wouldn’t Write Straight about the “New Journalism” writers. It’s early reading still, but I’m enjoying it so far.

I came across this quote from Norman Mailer in the book today, and it got me very excited to think I was on the right track, emulating New Journalism. He said that his writing was “enormously personalized journalism in which the character of the narrator was one of the elements in the way the reader would finally assess the experience.”

That’s exactly how I’m writing my novel. It is a first-person narrative, but the story is really about another character. Without giving too much away, the narrator will very much influence how the reader takes in the story. In other words, the story itself is coloured by how the narrator interacts with the main character and the events.

If I do it successfully though, in the end the reader will see the story — or at least react to the story — slightly different than the narrator does. It’s challenging, to say the least. But I’m excited for the story, and looking forward to doing my best to pull it off.


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2 Responses to What Norman Mailer and I Have In Common – Day 154

  1. Todd Michael Greene says:

    A Twitter friend had a post of an article you wrote for on Men With Pens. I found your blog as a result of that. Interesting what you’re doing here. I’0d thought about doing with a novel I was writing. Haven’t written anything longer than a blog post in a long time though and been thinking about digging out the old novel an trying to finish it. I have one complete novel which needs a complete rewrite to fit the genre that I’ve decided to commit to, but I’m a bit burned out on that one. I think this unfinished one is the ticket to getting me started again and I may just blog the writing of it for the accountability. It seems to be working for you.

    • Graham Strong says:

      Hi Todd,

      Yes, dust it off! Or maybe start a whole new one and see how that goes. But get writing again!

      The blog certainly helped me stay on track to put in my hour per day.

      I guess it’s like anything: once you commit to it, it becomes a whole lot easier. Because now there’s no decision to made — you’re doing it. And if you don’t, you have to tell your blog (and blog readers) why. So really, it’s just easier to put your hour in.

      Yes, it is most certainly working for me.

      Let me know when you get your blog up — I’d love to take a look!

      Good luck with it, and thanks for chiming in!


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