This week was a strug-fest.
Between awkward days off, work drama, and getting called in, I didn’t write nearly as much as I wanted to. Only 1,402 words. I know that it’s not bad, still over half a chapter, but it could have been better.
This week, for lecture, we watched a panel from some convention in Utah. Brandon was still on tour, so my notes aren’t as insane as they could have been. I did take more than last week though. For whatever reason I found the panel easier to follow and jot down.
So, the topic this week was Miscellaneous Tips and Tools for Engaging the Reader.
It’s basically just a gathering of bullet points.
-Wait to restructure or rewrite until the first draft is done
-Find elements that are grounded in reality
—> Fantasy elements happen on top of the groundwork.
–READ —-> be analytical —> did it work? Why or why not?
-Once the manuscript is done write more! Keep writing. Always have more.
– Rick Walton said, “Quit. And if you can’t, do the work.”
-Self-indulgence is the biggest danger
-Own what you write and enjoy it
Pacing and the Importance of Breathers
-Sometimes you need to put in somewhat boring bits to slow the reader down.
—>You have to let them breathe and recharge
-Think of ‘War of the Worlds’ with Tom Cruise. There was no downtime, no time to calm down and think.
—> Running at 10 will make 10 normal. This is not good.
-There’s a difference between propelling the story with action and propelling the story
-Slow spots are valuable. You only get a few of them.
—>introduce information that will be crucial later in the story.
**Be dull for a good purpose later**
-Use white space to let the eye rest
Some Thoughts on Outlining
-Try writing without outlining and then try with outlining
—> See what works
-Every book is going to be different
—>Get the words on the page!
Getting Just the Right Amount of Description
**The Reader is part of the Creation of a story**
-First, do no harm
—> Editor needs to make things better, as should the writer
—>If there’s something that isn’t helping, is it hurting? DO NO HARM
—-There is a difference between slow and boring—-
-Take out all of the things that readers will hear anyway
—>The reader’s brain will fill in a lot of things on its own
Novice Mistakes in the Beginning Chapters
-Start in the wrong spot
-The first couple pages—-> would you buy it at Barnes and Noble?
-Slow beginnings… and then I wrote “uh-oh”, because my novel is quite slow in the beginning
-The first few paragraphs need to be AMAZING!
—-DON’T rewrite the beginning to death!—-
—>the more you write it the worse it gets
—-**write in one font, edit in another—> helps to differentiate material and changes your perception of the work**—-
-Read it aloud! You will find so much more!
-Take time away from the work once the draft is done—> Like King said
So basically, this lecture was just a lot of nuggets of writing advice. Overall I felt good about it. I don’t think I do too many of the things they mention, and that I’m on track to get this novel done. It’s pretty scary.
And completely exhilarating. This novel is almost done, and I have some really solid ideas about the next one. I’m actually writing consistently, without school assignments forcing me to. I’m doing this for me, because I’m finally taking it seriously.
And it feels so good.
Hopefully this transcription of my notes will help you guys out. Let me know if there’s a point you’d like clarification on, or something like that.