June 27, 2011

How to Write a Book in 90 Days: The Book, The Plan

I've ordered the Kindle version of Sarah Domet's book 90 Days to Your Novel: a Day by Day Plan for Outlining and Writing Your Book.  I've read it. 

Now, I'm going getting serious about following the path established in this book, because it's smart and it's hard and it makes good sense.  What Sarah Domet has written speaks to me -- I think I've found the approach that jives with how I work.  Not all do, I'm sure you know what I mean.

This is all about my writing fiction, and this means I am going to have to add this time commitment to my current working day, which involves writing and editing nonfiction work as well as providing consulting services for lawyers writing blogs and using social media. 

The book opines that you will need to find two hours a day to meet its 90 day deadline.  Okay.  Two hours; I can find them. 

The book demands an outline, although it gives you optional approaches to outlining.  I like outlining, I like planning in advance.  I love lists.  I love lists of lists, it's that bad.  So, this is good for me.  It might not be as welcome to someone like Robin Lee Hatcher, who likes to write and find out how the story develops as she goes. 

We'll see.

One last thing.  You can keep reading about writing, studying trends, learning markets and publishers and agents ... but then there comes the day when you have to put your foot down.  No more.  No more preparation, whether or not you feel like you're ready to go, there comes a time to move forward. 

At some point, you've got to write instead of learning about writing, thinking about writing, dreaming up plots and making friends with characters. 

Here goes.

Of course, you know what happens.  Just as I find the link for this post on Amazon, what pops up?  How to Write a Book in 90 Days, God's Way by Henry Abraham.  Now, do I read it or stick to my guns?  Arrrgggghhhh. 

June 17, 2011

I'm Reading Anna Karenina and Remembering the Timeliness of Great Books

I started reading Anna Karenina (see previous post) on Kindle and learned something right off:  there are certain things I want to read on Kindle (or any screen) and things that I most certainly don't.  Call me Old School, call me picky.

This week, I stopped by the Half Price books and got a great copy of Anna Karenina that is the right size and weight.  It's a big book and I don't want one that is cumbersome; I want one that is easy to flip back and forth when I want to go back and re-read something, and I need quality paper that can withstanding my highlights and note taking (yes, I'm one of those).  Usually, college-targeted versions serve me well, and that's what I got this time.  It's an oversized, quality paperback meant for students and I love it.

The eerie thing about reading Anna Karenina right now - and there are some eerie things - include it's opening sentence:

"All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

Wow.  Love it, and it's so topical what with the daily news blast of Casey Anthony's trial, especially since the defense has just begun putting on their case.

The first few chapters delve into a man who has had an affair with the children's governess and now the wife has found out and is packing to leave (though we know she's really not going anywhere).  Suddenly there's a news break about Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver - and the news that he's the father of their former maid's son. 

No, I'm not far enough into the book yet for Anna to appear on the scene.  She should be here any minute; Vronsky's just been revealed as Levin's rival for the hand of Kitty.

It's true, I know it already: this is a great read.  Is it the best book ever written?  I don't know that I can agree with that accolade yet ... but I know one thing: one of the keys of great books, in my opinion, is how they span the ages with truths that are as applicable today as the day they were written.  A great writer's wisdom is timeless and rare, I think.

Anna Karenina in the first few chapters is already resonating with the world I'm living in today.  That's a good sign.

June 8, 2011

Here's Why I'm Reading Anna Karenina

Roaming around the web this week, I stumbled upon a list of books that famous authors considered to their favorite books, which corresponds with an actual book on these lists-- The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books.

It's only $9.76 for a Kindle edition.  There's a blog, too. 

Anyway, I had discovered the Top Ten list from all their collective selections -- and there was Tolstoy's Anna Karenina at the top.  Number One.  Anna Karenina, really? 

All these different, successful writers had chosen this book as the best of the best, the creme of the creme.  Ever read it? 

No, me neither, I'm not ashamed to admit.  (I did see Vivien Leigh in the 1948 movie version, but I hated the ending and after all, Anna was no Scarlett. I like survivors, I am one.)

Still, here I was - wanting a good book, one of those that keep you up at night, and here this was: this list.  So, I went over to Amazon and guess what?  Right now, Anna Karenina, Kindle version, is FREE

It was a sign.  So, right now I'm reading Anna Karenina.  I hope they're all right.