Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What am I reading?

I get this question a lot.

"So, if you write, do you ever have time to read?"
Yes. I do. As a writer you HAVE to read. It's all part of learning the craft, seeing what is being done, sparking new inspiration.

What I read, though, varies from week to week.

This week my nose is buried in Tina Ferraro's the abc's of kissing boys, Laurie Halse Anderson's Wintergirls , John Ortberg's the ME I want to be and of course, my rough draft, M. Nope, no link to Amazon... not yet.

I am also always reading Writer's Digest or some other magazine about the writing process and something I read today really rang true for me. I was reading an article about Meg Cabot's writing process and how she creates her storylines. There were no strict guidelines she follows. She simply follows her muse.

She said, "If I really like an idea, I don't outline, because I've found that when I do, it feels like I've already told the story, and then I don't have the excitement about actually writing it."

This was so refreshing to me as a writer who tries to get my hands on every tried and true method of writing the best book the world has ever seen. But, that compulsion goes against everything creative in my soul. I want to live the storyline WITH the character and have, at times, felt as though that was a novice way of attacking a manuscript. Well, Meg Cabot's 15 million books sold tells me otherwise!

I am all about the writing raw and following a seemingly natural direction to get down the skeleton to make sure the story CAN get where I want it to go. I also employ my avid reading friends to take a peek from time to time.

A note to all my writer friends: Meg Cabot sent a query EVERY day for FOUR YEARS before she got a bite. That's over 1,000 of those all too familiar, "Thanks, but no thanks" letters!

Will be posting some more mini-excerpts from my latest work in progress.

Back to work...my characters are waiting!

1 comment:

  1. Michelle, I love Meg's strategy there about not outlining. What I do is write down a few key ideas (i.e., not making varsity with all your friends, needing to learn about kissing, how pretty I found Duluth, MN) and then start writing. The outline shows up at about chapter 3. Best of luck (and hope you like my book)!