Artistic Licence: The heart of the novel

In February last year, the Guardian recruited a number of contemporary novelists and asked them to offer ten rules for writing fiction.

18th March, 2012

In February last year, the Guardian recruited a number of contemporary novelists and asked them to offer ten rules for writing fiction. Among the contributors was Jonathan Franzen, who included, in his list, the observation that: "When information becomes free and universally accessible, voluminous research for a novel is devalued along with it."

The point, of course, is obvious and valid: why spend months or years piling up notes on a particular historical period or...

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