Whee! Here we go. It's been a little over a year since I've last written on my novel. The past year, I've been reading *closely* so that I can see what constitutes great novels. One book that has helped get me excited again about reading and writing is Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose. It talks about reading closely for the sheer pleasure of it, rather than speedreading to tear through to the end. I can imagine this works best when the writing is eloquent. Here is what this wonderful book looks like:
Whether you love reading, or wish to write an eloquent novel, Reading Like a Writer is a gem. One underlying rule: pay close attention to details. We learn things by general rules, but remember things with details that stand out.
One book that made me want to lurch to the floor and vomit all over myself is The Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks, set in England at the time of the plague. I'll post its image here because it deserves the attention:
What a beautifully written book! It's the first time I've ever felt utterly jealous of another writer's writing style. Currently I'm reading a literary mystery titled Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier and The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, the latter of which I'm finding the characters to be flat, the dialogue forced, and the romance unconvincing.
I have 70K words of which I need to rip out the first few chapters like old linoleum and place them in the form of flashback snippets in their more proper place throughout the story. I need to write about 30K-40K more words. I must complete the historical storyline, which is going to take some heavy duty right brain revving, and create the remaining two characters my main modern storyline character meets on the pilgrimage route to Santiago.
See the cute countdown clock for finishing the novel at the bottom right column? New target date: June 21st, 2010 at high noon.