Thursday, July 29, 2010

This Just In

So I'm taking some of my editor’s advice this week and reading: Writing the breakout Novel. She felt it would help me tighten up some of the loose ends in my story and boy was she right. In the first couple of chapters along I could recognize the parts of my premise that I needed to dial up and questions like: What if? That builds the conflict to that "holding your breath" moments.

It's also addresses my largest concern, which is taking the larger than life world of True that I see so vividly in my head and putting it on the page. This book and a stack of others will be the focus of my blogs from the coming weeks. It feels a little backwards to have written three novels before even studying the craft.

It's like being assigned to major surgery for the first time and instead of researching how the procedure is conducted you browse through a bunch of success stories and tell yourself "All right I think I know enough to get the job done." Then your patient flat lines within the first five minutes and you stand back scratching your head like you don't know what went wrong.

"I’ve read a hundred books, why isn't mine as good as theirs?" The answer for me isn't the story, it's the presentation. So in a way the steps I have taken aren't in vain. Knowing that I could start and finish a novel was motivation enough for me to decide this something I not only want to do, but that I'm capable of doing. At this point in my writing life, I'm hooked, and willing to do whatever it takes, even if that means reading more books about writing novels, than I did my entire college experience, even if it means starting from scratch with the novels I've already written. Writing might not be as important as surgery, but the two are required to generate a pulse, which is exactly what I plan to do with True.


  1. This is so true. You can't study the craft enough, as far as I'm concerned. I enocurage all writers to read and own, "Hooked", "The First 5 Pages", "Self-Editing For Fiction Writers," "Bird by Bird." They are essential in succeeding in the pub world.

  2. I have this book too and find that it is very helpful.

  3. Hey PK,

    I have all except bird by bird. I've ordered the Elements of Fiction Writing Series from Writers Digest, too.


    Helpful doesn't even begin to cover it, this book is helping me so many ways to deepen my stories. I'm already half way through it. I'll be done before the weekend.

  4. Hey, T:
    Just stopping by via YA/Crossover at Writer's Digest (I think I got the info right, I'm so tired). I guess you say, 'why do you sit at the computer at five thirty in the morning and type out the words five thity.' Night owl. Scouring some sites--typing it out is easier than looking for the numbers with these tired eyes and changing my...can't think dithdr. I'll leave that typo there and get back atcha. Hey, check me out and be the first: I haven't mentioned her to anyone but my daughters (who read over my shoulder). I love your site. I'm just now deciding to take one seriously.


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