Does writing get any easier the more novels you finish? Does anything get harder? What piece of writing advice do I most cherish? I’m being interviewed today at the Potomac Review, the bi-annual American literary journal of fiction, poetry nonfiction and photography. One of its custodians got in touch after reading My Memories of a Future Life and I’m honoured to be featured on its exquisite pages.
Proper post from me soon, but speaking of MMOAFL, you can get episode 1 for free on Kindle – but hurry to the Kindle store right now as the offer vanishes after December 30…
4 thoughts on “The writing advice I most cherish – interviewed at the Potomac Review”
I have your book, Nail Your Novel, and it’s helping me continue after the initial inspiration. I have stopped writing about 1/4 of the way into the novel, and I have adapted the use of index cards to generate new ideas and scenes. But I’m not clear about the difference between the original research to get the creative juices flowing and the later detailed research. I loved your Potomac Review interview and I look forward to more Nail Your Novel books. You’re on to something very important — if I can just trust the process and not panic when the details don’t appear immediately.
Fredrica Parlett, Berkeley, California
PS I have been married 50 years to a Brit I met in college (Stanford).
Hi Frederica – thanks for your comment!
As for the two kinds of research, let me explain. The first kind is necessary to get the ‘big picture’ of what the book will be, where it will be set, the kinds of people who might take part in the story. Then when I start to make in-depth decisions about the book, that’s when I zone in on a lot of narrower topics. I find it helpful to split the two because the first batch directs the more focussed level later. It also makes me feel less like I’m overwhelmed by possibilities. Early on a book could be anytime anyplace anywhere. Once those parameters are established, I go hunting for specifics.
Roz, thanks so much for your quick reply. I am clearly in the second stage of research. I have adapted your index card method of plotting by setting up a template in Word using a very large font and the size of an index card. Then I cut them up and put them on an index card with double-stick tape. When I see what is missing, I’ll do one by hand till I’m on the computer again.
Will your novel be out in print soon? I don’t have a Kindle.
Frederica, that’s a good solution. I know some writers use Scrivener, which has cardlike applications and charts for keeping track of files. One reader of Nail Your Novel told me on Twitter that today she’ll be playing the cards game with Post-Its on her kitchen door!
My novel is already out in print – you can find it here… http://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Memories-Future-Life-ebook/dp/B005O6D97Q/ref=sr_1_5?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1316546563&sr=1-5