Thursday, October 4, 2007


Now that I'm trying to start writing a novel, there's an almost academic sense in which I approach my reading. I'm trying, of course, to take note of what is successful, what I like, what I don't, who I aspire to be, what I personally find palatable, what can be done that other people have done that you can get away with.

I am reading Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana right now, and I love his ridiculous amount of knowledge vomit, which of course, comes with the condition that his poor character has (which I also love, because I was a psych major in college, and I've always wanted to write novels about people with abnormal psychological conditions). I'm only 20 pages in, but it's quirky and strange and maybe overly verbose, but funny and it works.

Randomness: Before it got warm and staying indoors was unbearable, I spent a good amount of time on weekends in a Starbucks right next door to a Barnes. This was my routine - walk into Barnes and spend 20 minutes browsing before schlepping next door and sitting down to write for a good four to five hours (or more). The reason I went into Barnes first, always, was because it not only inspired me, but also gave me hope. Looking at all the books surrounding me, I thought, there are so many books here. So many people have already made it. Why can't I be one of them too?

When everyone tells me how difficult it is to make it, I choose to go into Barnes and surround myself by the hundreds and thousands of books that tell me at least this many people have already made it.

5 drops:

cyn said...

hurray for you for starting on a novel. i am so jealous of your four hour chunks of writing time. i don't think i can free write for that long (i wrote my rough draft in 40 - 60 minute spurts), but i can revise for that long, for certain. i'll be cheering you on, angelle!

moonrat said...

that's really good of you, going to the bookstore and finding inspiration.

i once wrote an entire novel in a coffee shop in 56 days (in four and five hour chunks. woopy.). it wasn't a good novel, but man those were the days. i really miss it. i miss being plagued by an idea.

so when are we going to talk about this novel of yours?

angelle said...

soon? i also need to pick your brain regarding that old people story you've read. i'm going to rewrite it this weekend (hopefully) but i need an opinion.

as for this novel - i think this is going to be a really bad novel, but it's plagued me for a year now that i feel i have to at least WRITE it. i also get this feeling that once i've done it once - COMPLETED a novel, no matter how crap it is - it'll be that much easier for me to start churning out the next one. i'm like that. i need to get into a groove, some sort of pattern where i'm like "OH this is how you do it." and after that i can just focus on nitty gritty important craft aspects as opposed to the grueling "can i actually DO this and pull it out of my ass" thing. so i just need to work myself through this first novel, however bad it is. in some ways, it really is, just an experiment, for me to figure out how exactly *I* can best write a novel.

angelle said...

mm. p.s. i am so guilty. i still haven't read past page 5 of your novel yet. i will!!!

cyn said...

i love that something GOT YOU by the writerly balls, angelle. it means it's a story that you need to tell. go with it! letting go of the inner critic is a challenge. remember that everyone's first draft is crappy. but that's what revising is for. the fact that you write a novel while learning the craft--can't ask for better than that.

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