The Purple Needle

I finally have a blog! This is my place to discuss my job search, my stitching, my addiction to the internet and whatever else crosses my mind! So stay, read, stitch and chat with me :)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Lighten up!

Sheesh. Do you ever get the feeling people take themselves or their careers much too seriously? In my current obssession with NaNoWriMo, I was reading the reviews of the founder, Chris Baty's book on the subject, No Plot? No Problem!, on Amazon. (And yes, I even wrote one myself. It will probably be up tomorrow for all to see.) Few people criticized the book, but the ones who did mostly complained that there was no practical writing advice in it. It doesn't teach you about style or plot or character or dialogue. Well, no, it doesn't. It never said it did. In fact, if you read the intro, it explicitly says it won't. That's not the point of the book.

And the book was much too light-hearted. We can't have that in a book about a serious craft such as writing. Noooo, let's not have fun.

No, they have better ideas. Instead of engaging in an insane, silly, yet quite contagious and tons of fun event like writing a novel at a frantic pace for 30 days, let's spend our time making notecards and outlines. Let's write a paragraph summarizing each chapter. Let's write complete character sketches on every character. Let's analyze our plot and every twist and every nuance to make sure it's exactly right and makes perfect sense. Got all that done? Good.

Now let's shove all this work in a drawer and not look at it again because we're darn tired of the thing already. We've worked out the plot, we've told the story. Who wants to go back and and take on the boring task of re-inking a drawing we've already done, to borrow an analogy from Chris Baty.

That's a much better option than this 30-day thing that results in a completed piece, I agree. Let's assign our junior highers to write this way, tell them how much fun writing can be and in this way raise up the next generation of prize-winning authors. Never mind the fact that no one in this scenario has put a single word of fiction on paper! And if they did, it was for the grade or the fear of not doing it more than the enjoyment of writing. But at least it was the proper way to write a novel. So what if it was boring, unproductive and turned a bunch of kids off writing. Who said writing had to be fun anyway?


At 9:37 AM, Blogger mj said...

thats one of the reasons i started a rules


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