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No Plot? No Problem!:
A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days (2004) by Chris Baty.
Everyone's a winner - well, a lot of people - all those that write a 50,000-word novel in November - National Novel Writing Month:
|1||I must be nuts.
Thank goodness for my fellow writers and cheerers-on.
|3||Start a cozy novel, one of those books that are self-indulgent to the writer and soporific to the reader: then add an unexpected and gruesome death or a sadistic act (or perhaps only its threat) in the first few chapters, and suddenly you're writing an Ian McEwan novel.|
|5||John Steinbeck's experience with writing previous novels gave him the confidence of pacing
and structure that led him to spend 9 months on his first draft.
And he was willing to make his first draft and then alter the structure quite radically.
|6||Don't explain all the science, especially when it does not yet exist.
The juice is in the people, not the science.
Learn from Margaret Atwood's 2003 Booker Prize short-list nominee, Oryx and Crake. and from Kazuo Ishiguro's 2005 Booker Prize long-list nominee, Never Let Me Go.
|21||Figuring out how it all ends is not straightforward.
If you can't figure it out, take John Fowles' approach.
Maddening as it was to many of his readers, he had great respect for the novel-writing process when he gave multiple endings to The French Lieutenant's Woman.
Reading back over some of my material, I see a certain amount of character drift.
The plot drift is even larger, and seems to have been accomplished with the aid of an outboard motor powered by chaos and attached to a mid-Pacific raft.
I am therefore even more in awe than before of Mr. Charles Dickens and his netless approach to publishing his stories as serials in magazines.
The longer NaNoWriMo goes on,
the more authors I find myself bowing to.
I look forward to creeping into a large cozy chair in December, and re-reading as many of them as I can.
Penelope Fitzgerald (one of my favorite modern authors) wrote her first book as
a mystery novel for
her husband while she was nursing him in the last year of his life.
What courage to both nurse someone dying and to write a novel that she showed as she wrote it.
Plot turns out to be harder than character
Therefore plot is more important to figure out going into NaNoWriMo.
As I had even LESS sense of character than of plot when I began, I suppose that by chance I paid more attention to preparing the harder half.
In the last quarter of a novel that was up-to-then exquisite,
Smilla's Sense of Snow (by Peter Høeg)
took a strange and unexpected turn into science fiction.
The plot and the characters lost traction.
I don't have an exquisite story, but I understand a bit better how, wanting to do something big, a novelist can lose such traction.
Who'd have thought it - in the last hour of writing, the
villain really turned out to be a villain, the hero was arrested
for a crime that he actually did commit, and the heroine together
with the sadly ineffective love interest (a man in a blue bunny suit)
are about to be tied to
the metaphorical railroad tracks by the villain,
who has the local police force under his control.
Lovely, lovely dystopia, as originally planned.
Of course the writing is bad, there are 50 loose ends, and I don't think I'll ever read it. But what a ride!
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Poetry - Learn How to Write Your Own.
Forests of California and Trees of the World.
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