Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Writing about Writing

This post is inspired by Tino's Book Talk.

Thinking about writing a book is an interesting thing to do. Of course, if I were to write a book I would want it to be a good book, one that I would enjoy reading. So what makes a book a good book? My requirements are:

1) Good character development. I think I could handle this if I wrote about people I know... Or base characters off of people that I have known well and find interesting. Or mesh the people I have met into someone wonderful!

2) No Excess Words. That means that everything written must be written for a reason. The best books give you hints and details along the way that you only fully understand at a later part in the book when things start to click. So maybe if I was writing I would go back through once I had a draft and indicate the usefulness of each paragraph. You've got to be able to kill your babies they say. X everything that doesn't help the story.

3) Plot (Action). Maybe even a Plot Map. Something has to happen, and since life doesn't happen in a vacuum, there are sub-plots woven into the big plot. I guess if I were doing this I would come up with the BIG PLOT and work the sub-plots into it by working outward from the center.

I guess that is it. I bet I would need a million drafts to get a good final copy.
Also it seems that it would be easiest to start by writing about something I know very well. I do think I understand people, so I bet I could do the whole character thing... Just how to communicate what I know in words on a page? Communicating takes some effort. I know lots of things but generally I don't care if other people know them or not, and this makes me a poor communicator.

Oh yeah. So since I don't know how I would write the book I would try to write the same story from the first person and from the third person and with mostly all dialog and without much or any dialog and all of these different ways. I bet then I would have a better grasp on the story and I could pick the version that was the best.

Finally, I like well written books. What the fuck does that mean? The sentences must be enjoyable to me. I know I don't write like that personally, but maybe I can go look back at some stuff I like and reevaluate the beautiful sentences.

All of this from a non-writer.

1 comment:

Tino said...

Well, you've got it all figured out. I am a communicator without a plan, and you are a planner who doesn't communicate. With our powers combined...