Usually I have one fiction and at least one non-fiction book that I’m reading. But it’s just non-fiction for me this week. I’m waiting for The Hunky Hubby to finish up his current read so that either we can read one of my new library books together or he can read it before me so that I don’t have to refrain myself from talking of the plot in front of him. I have learned never to read a book ahead of him that he intends to read. The silence and restraint at key plot moments is truly stressful for me, I absolutely must talk about that line of dialogue or that great ninja move!
Anywho…this week I concentrated on one of the non-fiction books that I was reading. Revision & Self-Editing: Techniques for transforming your first draft into a finished novel. Now this may seem silly since I have yet to finish my first draft. But I enjoy reading craft books. This has been a fun read and I have gained much new info. So what did I learn this week?
I’ll just pick one. On page 159 is this marvelous writing exercise that should solve one of the many difficulties that I had while writing Overturned. During revision I would come to a section and think “I really should wax eloquent here about…” whatever, scenery or character thoughts or something and of course I would attempt the aforementioned waxing and of course the results would often be far from eloquent and I would give up and sink into the depths of despair.
But no longer! On page 159 it says to make note of such places by putting in a notation such as “A.” or “B.” or even “Z225” and then open a blank document where you write “A.” and then “B.” and of course “Z225” and later when you are ready you go back to your blank document and you find notation “A” and you wax eloquent about the mood swings of your character underneath it for a ridiculous amount of time allowing yourself to be non-eloquent. Then once you have a fair amount of material you go back and peruse it critically. But instead of sinking into the slough of despair you pick out those few nuggets of beauty that are hidden under all of that other embarrassing dreck that you came up with. And these nuggets are what you actually use in your manuscript! Amazing? Yes. So that is one of the many things that I learned this week from my reading. Hopefully I’ll actually be able to remember it by the time I start revising.