Tuesday, March 23, 2010

You've Never Seen My Desk....

Well, you haven't.

But if you read through this post, you wont be able to say that anymore.

Here is a picture of my desk:
Post-it Note galore, no? And Lots of books. Lots and lots of books.
The ones on the middle shelf are all schoolbooks. Some are notebooks, some are folders, some are textbooks...
But if you look at the top of my desk- that perilously stacked pile of books- those are the interesting ones:

Criss-Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins
Weaving the Short Story by Douglas Bement
The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes (and how to avoid them) by Jack M. Bickham
On Becoming a Novelist by John Gardner
Adventure, Mystery, and Romance by John G. Cawelti
The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright

Note: the middle four are on different aspects of writing. I raided the '808' section at the library last week, after I mentioned finishing my story.
Yeah... don't claim you've finished a writing project the day before you check out books on common writing mistakes...

From 'The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes (and how to avoid them)' I found several... well, mistakes. Here are the top five that had to do with my story:

#1 Don't make excuses
# 10 Don't let things happen for no reason [though, out of this one I had to deal more with 'don't let things happen by chance' ]
# 12 Don't forget whose story it is
# 21 Don't ever stop observing and making notes
# 34 Don't waste your plot ideas

And from 'The Saturdays' (p. 15-16)

"He [Rush] stood there, one hand in his pocket, and his other hand skipping over the keys, jigging out a neat precise little tune that they all knew.
"And for heaven's sake don't play Bach," ordered Randy. "It's so jumpy for today."
Rush slung his leg over the piano stool and sat down. With both hands he began to play slow deep chords that fitted together into a wonderful dark mysterious music.
"Yes, that's better for today," approved Randy. "What is it anyway?"
"Bach," said Rush without turning his head" ...


Noël De Vries said...

one of my very favorite enright quotes. she just blows me away, at any random page. I forget her skillz, and then, BAM!

also like the common mistakes. any others stick out?

Nicole said...

:) its a great book. I read it forever ago, and I am enjoying remembering a little more every page :)

here, if you look at the 'look inside' tab, you can see the titles of all the common mistakes in the table of contents. If you'd like specific notes on anyone of them; email me and I'll tell you what stuck out the most. :)