So, you're an aspiring novelist, but haven't any slightest idea how to start your novel. Check out this lovely piece of advice from Mr. Jeffrey Eugenides, author of novels like The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex.
I tell my students that when you write, you should pretend you're writing the best letter you ever wrote to the smartest friend you have. That way, you'll never dumb things down. You won't have to explain things that don't need explaining. You'll assume an intimacy and a natural shorthand, which is good because readers are smart and don't wish to be condescended to. I think about the reader. I care about the reader. Not "audience." Not "readership." Just the reader.
- Jeffrey Eugenides in an interview with The Paris Review
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