Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Writing the Novel: Class #1

I think I'm going to like my class. My professor, Bill Holinger, seems very smart and funny (and looks just like Dennis Quaid!). And the group seems serious about writing.

As a way to introduce ourselves, instead of the normal "why are you taking this class" line of questions, he had us list a good book we've read recently. I took copious notes, so I now have a long list of books to check out. Whoo! (See below)

We also talked a lot about the process of writing a novel, and the conversation left me daunted! It's so very different from writing stories, it seems. But for the moment, I am just going to focus on getting the first two chapters revised and focused.

If you have a novel that you're revising, you might find some of these suggestions interesting:
  • Put each scene on an index card and lay them out on a table in order. Read through them and see if the progression makes sense. Move index cards and insert ideas for new scenes, as needed.
  • Print out the whole book, and lie each chapter on a table. Read each chapter, leaving a handwritten note atop each chapter regarding what scenes need to move, what character details need to change, etc.
  • Tape index cards with scenes/notes on what happens in each chapter to the wall, and rearrange them as need be.
Partial list of recommended books
To Serve them All my Days (The prof recommended this one)
Brick Lane
Potato Factory
A House at the End of the World
Angle of Repose
Cloud Splitter
The Knock Out Artist

Anyone read any of these? If so, let me know what you thought!

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1 comment:

DJPare said...

Never heard of them.
Let me know if any end up worth reading.

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