Helpful tips from a poet who lives in Brooklyn:
1. MOVE OUT OF BROOKLYN
I know not every novelist in America lives in Brooklyn, it just seems that way. There are a million stories on the L Train, and they’re all basically about dorky people doing dorky things. Which is fine. The best novel to come out of Williamsburg was obviously A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. That was The Pre-ironic Brooklyn Age. And while Brooklyn might be a great place for other artists, poets and painters to live and interact and steal from each other, all your sad little Brooklyn novels end up sounding about the same. Novelists in packs are like Smurfs, except drunk and bitter.
“How to Write the Great American Novel.” — Jim Behrle, The Awl
See more #longreads from The Awl
And for those of you who’ve never read “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”, please don’t miss it. I’ve found it has a reputation among some as a kid’s book, or sentimental, but it’s a very clear-eyed view of poverty, immigrant life and girlhood in early 20th century Brooklyn.