Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Books on Writing

In the words of my daughter's favorite television show: Great Googily Moogily (translates to Holy Crap, I think).

I'm putting the book about revision and self-editing aside until after the holidays.

I definitely want to keep writing and editing for the next two weeks, but on page one, James Scott Bell assigns his readers the following task:

Read 6 books. Then re-read them, taking notes on the setting, plot, and character development in each scene. Then re-read the notes.

A valuable task? Probably.

Will I do it? Probably.

Should I stop editing PA or writing The Prodigal Sister while I study this stuff? No!

Where's the fun in that?

No, I'm going to put the book aside, and use my limited time these days to read through PA, and see where that gets me. Maybe before the next draft, and before the rewriting of TPS, I'll do my homework on the craft of writing.

I'm just getting into the writing habit, if I pause now to study, I may scare myself away from it all together!


gypsyscarlett said...


I just came here via Dara's blog. That sounds like a good exercise. One of the best ways to improve writing is to read, read, read. I'm sure by taking notes, I'd see even more how my favorite author's handle different elements.

Anna said...

I'm not the biggest cheerleader for studying... I mean it does seem like a bit much, when you're just starting out.

I do recommend the reading... both PA and something else. I read a chapter a day at lunchtime of a fiction. kind of my special treat... :)))

you're onna roll!!

jchart said...

Yes, I agree with Anna, you ARE on a roll, don't stop now!
Reading is really important and fun to boot, but I wouldn't stop what you are doing. You learn a lot by doing things your own way, muddling through, finding out what works for you and what doesn't. I think it's an exciting process, so run with it.

Sarah said...

I think I'm going to compromise, and try the exercise with a book that I've read a thousand times: Anita Diamont's The Red Tent. I'm so familiar with the book that it should take quite so long.... and I'll still have plenty of time to keep plunging ahead with other projects!


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