Novel Fixes – Week 36
January 29, 2015 § 2 Comments
Still sorting through papers here, I came across a journal entry about the novel January 30, 2013. I had so many unanswered questions (a list, of course). I remember thinking, “But I don’t know! How am I supposed to know everything already?” afraid the project was a bad idea and wouldn’t be interesting to anyone because I didn’t make outlines and was basically clueless.
My “mailbox friend” (see Teen Novel In-Process post) had been giving fifteen minutes a day to her novel. I’d given mine zero, still afraid to dive in. I’d think about it occasionally, but I understand now how that’s not the same as writing. Not even close.
“I couldn’t hear my narrator and if I lost his voice, I’d lose the novel.” – Tom Grimes, Mentor: A Memoir (I gave this 6 stars out of 5 – beautifully written, reads like a novel – I didn’t want it to end so I read it again right away.)
This is exactly where I derail. If I’m stuck at all it’s because I’ve lost my narrator’s voice. Either I’ve been too long away from the pages or gotten in the way of her, having elbowed front and center with my own voice.
These five FIXes in the photo have this in common. The voice sounds flat or trails off into nothing, no connector to the next scene or chapter. Sometimes it’s obvious, other spots not so much, but whatever – they need fixing. And I think I just found the perfect advice jotted on a little slip of paper from something I read, or heard a director say in the comments after a movie…
TIP: “Think of a visual, not an idea.”