Those who don’t write read books about writing

A little while ago I had an Amazon gift certificate to use, and I decided that I would buy something that would be a useful resource, something I might go back and refer to time and again.

I am a bit of a writing-book addict – I love Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, as you know, and Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Godlberg, and I have also been looking at Will Write for Shoes: How to Write a Chick Lit Novel which is actually a nifty little book, full of useful tips for getting a book written hard and fast (and despite the title is written by a very serious sounding woman, who has a very succinct method for plotting a book in 400 pages, and written in 3 months) and also a slightly more complicated book called The Weekend Novelist which has baffled me a little but seems very useful if only I could concentrate and not become completely hypnotised by the circular plot diagrams. 

I am having trouble with my plot. I love my characters, I love my protagonist especially. She’s totally awesome – well, she is in my head anyway – and looks like Susie Porter. I love the fictitious place it’s set, and I kind of like my voice. But the plot! Argh. I know basically what’s going to happen; I have a beginning, middle, a black moment (when everything falls apart) and end, but it’s such a tangle. 100,000 words is a lot of words to get lost in. So, I thought, what I really need is a book on plot (because two is not nearly enough… but I know that my real motivation is procrastination) and found the one in the photo above on Amazon which got 5 stars with 83 reviews (it has to be good!). And then I noticed you could buy two other titles as well, get all three together at the same time and save 60c! So of course I thought a book on Characters, Emotion & Viewpoint would be interesting, and while I think I am quite comfortable with writing dialogue, I said to myself “Wow, you know, you can always learn a little bit more about how to make conversation sound more natural,” and I had to agree with myself. “Yes,” I said. “And you will save yourself 60 cents.”

After all that I was convinced that I would surely finish my first draft and if that is the case what I will really need is “Revision and Self-editing”.

As you can see, I have quite a lot of reading to do before this novel gets written. Hmm.

And the pipe cleaner in the foreground? That was a photographic accident. The house is awash in pipe cleaners at the moment. It’s Lily’s latest thing.