Monthly Archives: May 2011

A Messy Business

As a new author, I seek out advice from a variety of sources, for example, the awesome Writing Excuses podcast. There’s so much advice available about redrafting and editing, or working with critique partners, even writing query letters

.It’s clear to me that in writing s novel I’ve embarked on a multiple-step process. I considered that perhaps it’s like pottery: making the rough shape on the wheel, refining the shape, maybe decorating the surface, then firing the piece to finish it. Hell, I could glaze it and fire it again before I was done.

So, in writing my first draft, I must be at the first stage of throwing the clay and making the rough shape? Yes?

No. The above (and somewhat lengthy) analogy presupposes that I have the material available to begin the process of shaping and refining. Actually, I don’t. I think for me that the process of writing the first draft akin to the digging up the clay in the first place. It’s messy, it’s tiring, and I’ll need more than will appear in the finished article(s), but I need something to work with.

That’s how I’m viewing my first draft. It’s not pretty and it’s going to need a lot of work, but I need to get it written before I can progress to making something prettier.

A Reader’s Manifesto

This isn’t a new piece, but I agree with the sentiment 100%;

“A Reader’s Manifesto: An attack on the growing pretentiousness of American literary prose”, by B. R. Myers

Style over substance makes me uncomfortable, and I hope I never fall into that trap.