Saturday, November 8, 2008

Literary Odds and Ends

Since working on NaNo depletes my brain, this blog will be a consortium of quotes from other people who are inspiring me at the moment. Appropriate for writers as well as teachers, I hope these words inspire you too:

This is how I feel when I am writing: "Writing a first draft is like creating clay out of nothing, just dirt and water." John Green, winner of the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature for Looking for Alaska.

This is what I struggle with (see last post):

"For the same reason that active verbs are generally better than passive verbs, a lively present tense will beat a sodden past tense every time. It's the difference between a saunter and a trudge." James Kilpatrick, "Why because? Since is sounds better, that's why," November 8, 2008 column.

This is what I have to remember: "I firmly believe the story knows itself and the really good stuff just pops up when we let down our guard." Joyce Hostetter, author of Blue and Healing Water.

This is what I'm doing now and later:

"Of course we [Joyce is also in the middle of NaNO] can layer in what we know for now but we don't have to know everything. We can leave _____________s for filling in later or make up something totally not accurate. I do have some sensory details and little descriptions of what is going on around my character but I expect to have tons of stuff to layer in later (and lots to take out)."

This is what I have to think about:

"Novels that last and please readers are written because the novelist is intoxicated by the delight and the endlessly renewable joy that comes from engaging with imaginary characters—with story; and that engagement always begins with reading; and if it catches you, it never lets go. Write a novel if you want to win a competition, or impress your friends, or possibly make some money—do so by all means. But if you're not a lover of stories, a passionate and devoted reader, don't expect your novel to please many readers." Phillip Pullman – from his NaNo Pep talk on 11/7/08.

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