Tuesday, December 29, 2009

At the Office on a Cold Winters Day

I am at the office again today. It has been a week since I have been here since it is so cold. It was worth coming out for several reasons. One, is the new issue of Harpers is out and the cover story is on Warren Buffett who is amazing, also I was getting slight cabin fever yesterday. It has been a week or more since I left the house to do anything other than check the mail. Also I needed coffee and they have great coffee here.

I have been reading a lot of post on Problogger as I am going through the 31 Days program I started on xmas day, which I think is going very well. I am only on day three but can already see and feel good changes.

Also this morning, early, I finished Michael Connelly's books The Closers, it was very good. It had 40 or 50 pages that were a little slow like 3/4 the way through the book, but other than that it was page turning and very good. Engaging story and characters I could identify with. I am going to start my first Daniel Silva book now The Kill Artist. I want to spend the next few monthes reading main stream mystery/thriller fiction. I can not help but think of what I think Robin Cook said the best way to learn how to get on the New York Times bestseller list is to go out and read every book right now on the NY Times Bestseller list and then copy what they are doing.

So with that in mind I have about 10-12 bestselling thriller/mystery novels stacked next to the coffee table and I am going to do just that. I figure if I learn one or two things from each of them then it is all worth it. Plus they are pretty good reads overall.

I am also on the advice of a close friend, going to go today and get index cards and try to outline a novel on them. This is suppose to help you see the novel in full even if it is not written yet. Plus in mystery it will help with foreshadowing and leaving clues for the reader to follow.

So after I leave here I am going to go to the store and get some index cards and bagels. The cornerstone of any good writing sesssion. I will post again later this evening I just wanted to get my thoughts of the moment down on paper.


B.R. Stateham on December 29, 2009 at 3:07 PM said...

Outlines can help--but here's another way. Think up a kick-ass opening scene. Hook the reader in the first two pages. Actually, in the first two paragraphs. And then write and discover around that opening scene. The thrill of ironing out plots and characters as you write is far more satisfying. At least it is for me,

Kevin Regier on December 29, 2009 at 5:40 PM said...

I agree the first novel I wrote (half way through 2nd draft now) I did with no outline at all. I had about 3-4 paragraphs and then went from there. Thought I would try outlining with index cards this time around and see how it works out.

Don Lee on December 29, 2009 at 8:40 PM said...

The problem I was having before I tried the index card method -- the same guy gave me that advice -- was I had a lot of scenes written and a lot of it sorta worked out in my head, but only when I did the index cards, just a brief desc. of the scene on each card, did I see some really obvious holes I'd missed in my more random writing-off-the-cuff; also, I got a couple of really jazzy ideas I can now incorporate, that I don't think I'd have thought of otherwise. Just my two cents worth.

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