Don’t work too hard – writing advice

I haven’t offered writing advice in a long time, possibly because I’m personally floundering in that area.

Here, then, is advice from Anthony Trollope to George Eliot regarding the book “Romola.”

 From wikipedia: The attention to detail exhibited in the novel was a focus of both praise and criticism. Anthony Trollope, having read the first instalment of Romola, expressed wonder at the toil Eliot must have “endured in getting up the work”, but also cautioned her against excessive erudition, urging her not to “fire too much over the heads of her readers”.[6]

It was good advice, because I just gave up on Romola. Too much! First she researched too much then she notebook-dumped. Too much architecture, too much Florence goings on, too much authentic conversation, too much scholarly wisdom. I had read for quite some time and only received a hint of a plot. Sorry, George, you’re one of the all-time greats, but Romola won’t do.

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