I dream of many things … an office full of bulletin boards where I can trace out whole outlines on multi-colored index cards and color coded push pins. I dream of bulletin boards full of images torn from magazines to help me describe the way people dress and what they eat. I dream of time to find the images and index cards … heck to be honest I would like the time to find my office! I know it is somewhere.
I was always the student who bought the organizer, pencil case, and little pouch to hold miscellany items… Continue reading
The other day I had a conversation with an author who outlines to the nth degree. He’s written his first book and has a narrative arc that stretches through the next two — a very dramatic arc and one I hope to read someday. I was in awe that he’s thought so far ahead, giving his characters deep psychological motives. I have trouble even scheduling my life out two weeks ahead!
Mystery writer Hallie Ephron is another one who carefully plots. But she says in her… Continue reading
… is the way you should write your novel.
There are many ways to write a novel. In her book Bird by Bird Anne Lamott advocates writing Shitty First Drafts – getting that first draft down on paper without worrying, no matter how bad it seems. She also suggests that you write a novel scene by scene without thinking too far ahead, quoting EL Doctorow as saying “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip this way”. This… Continue reading