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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Write Great Fiction: Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell

Great book. I recommend all authors read it, study it, apply it. Do the listed exercises even.

I finished reading this selection a week or two ago. I had made twenty-five double-sided pages of notes while digesting the info therein. Then over the last few days, I've been reducing those first handwritten nuggets to six double-sided pages of solid tips for me to put to use as I create my future novels.

So when I say that what I'm about to quote from Plot & Structure urged me to write this post, then it must be pretty awesome. And it is.
'Know thyself,' the sages admonished, and that's still good advice. Especially for writers. By knowing yourself truly and honestly, by writing with passion and intensity...you'll find your writing is not only fresh, but a joy. You'll have you. And that's enough to start writing.
In other words, write true to yourself and your writing will be unique.

But what struck me, and what is not spelled out in Plot & Structure, is that while our writing may be fresh to others, it will not seem so to us. Don't let that hinder you.

This is what I want you to take away from this article. Just because your writing doesn't wow you, it could still amaze others. So share it. Your words may reach someone and work wonders in a person's life.

Also in Bell's book, and in further support of my interpretation above, is this quote by William Saroyan:
I don't have a name [title] and I don't have a plot...I have the typewriter and I have white paper and I have me and that should add up to a novel.
Love that one! For those who like mathematical formulas, it goes like this:
Author + Computer/Typewriter/Pen/Pencil + Paper = Story.
So never discount the Author component.
Denise Barker, author + blogger + copy editor

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