<$Susan Goodwill$>

Sunday, November 26, 2006

NaNo #24 Deadlines

At http://www.poewar.com/ over the weekend, I read an article by Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., about deadlines.

Deadlines are often thought of by writers as a bad thing. Susan suggests that they can be a positive thing when combined with the appropriate inner motivation. Rather than get one out of the "flow" or "zone", they may actually push the writer just enough to foster a flowing creativity.
Like NaNoWriMo, they can help develop discipline, motivate, and force that great debilitator perfectionism aside.
The trick, she says, is for the writer to know when the writing may be suffering due to the pressure of an unrealistic (at least for that writer) deadline and at that point speak up.

NaNo #23 Deconstructing Dead Men

I have a secret. I ripped up Dead Men. Okay, so here's the thing. I liked the plot, the pacing, and the subplot of Harley Jane Kozak's Dating Dead Men. I liked the characters and the humor.

It didn't hurt that it won the Macavity and the Anthony and a slew of other awards for best first novel. So what I did was, I tore it apart. I marked up my copy for plot, inciting incident, how characters were described when they were introduced. I rated scenes from 1 to 5 for action, pacing, conflict. I looked at chapter length, introduction of backstory, use of setting. I watched how the climax fell and what was tied up ahead of time and what after. I looked at the weak points and the strong points.
I did this with a few other books as well. Crusie and Evanovich and others.
And I'm about to do it again.
So, my tip today, is find an author you love and rip her a new one.