Category Archives: Writing
Once you’ve mastered the basics of getting words on a page and moving characters around through situations, there’s some things that (in my experience) the majority of writers need to focus on. Examples are narrative grammar, paragraphing strategies, trimming excess from sentences, and getting inside a character’s head. Here, I’m going to discuss the last of those.
A lot of this is taken from correspondance with my student Hasnain. He’d asked about story structures, particularly Freitag’s Triangle, and we’d discussed where the triangle occurs in Junot Diaz’s story, Fiesta 1980. In looking at his most recent story, I’d said I thought he needed to get inside his main character’s head more.
The rewrite of the first book, whose tentative working title is Beasts of Tabat, is off to Seth the fabulous agent, so I’ve started messing with the second book. It’s got the love triangle I mentioned in an earlier post, and I’m contemplating the somewhat odd strategy of having it start, chronologically, at a time point somewhere in the middle of the first book, and show some of that action from a different viewpoint. Crazy? Maybe, but I think it’ll be interesting to try.
If you’re friend or family, you may know something about it, or even have read one of the many, many earlier drafts.
And I’m really happy with it, but holy cow, is it hard to rewrite a novel. Because you’ve got to manage it all in your head while working with smaller parts of it.
For a couple of months now, I’ve been experimenting with using Dragon Dictate for writing, both fiction and nonfiction. In fact, I’m using it to write this post.
Recent writing and publishing links of interest, including how to deliver information, how to break out of slush piles, some market resources, neuroscience, and gender breakdowns in publishing.
These are noteworthy writing or publishing related links I’ve found recently: Writing Links Anne Rice talking about plot. Found via Fran Friel. Rice talks about conversations with herself about the plot as part of the planning process. Fascinating Atlantic piece … Continue reading
Writers should pay attention to our own process. Sometimes we’re reluctant to do so. We worry that like the centipede in the story who stops being able to walk after thinking about exactly how she does it, looking at our own process will damage or kill it. A Schrödinger’s cat: we know we’re doing something, but if we look to prove that, it’ll vanish.
This is not actually true. Looking will, most probably, not kill it. If you are the rare exception that cannot look at their process without damaging it, a brief examination will let you know this without damaging anything too much. Maybe. There are no guarantees in writing advice.
But if you are part of the vast majority that WILL learn from it, what will you gain?