Sunday, March 15, 2009

a novel analogy

Not much happened this week. I wrote - everything that I wrote seemed to belong later in the novel - I have decided this means that my sense of structure is shifting. And I am reminded of when we were thinking about getting the house restumped, a friend said, 'don't get the house restumped, then you'll have to get the plastering redone.' She was right, but we didn't bother getting the plastering redone and there is now a fat crack hiding behind The Outcast Poets from where the chimney sank. Well, at least the floors don't bounce anymore. So that's where I'm at with the novel: solid floors and fat cracks.

I have also been doing lots of walking, now that it's finally getting cooler. Have been listening to T C Boyle's The Women, about Frank Lloyd Wright and his wives. I'm loving it. It's very lush writing, with lots of funny asides from the narrator, and the reader is superb. There is a description of a fire at Taliesin - an event that takes about half an hour in real time, and probably 10-15 minutes in reading time - it made me think about what parts of the novel I give time too - I think the first draft is all about that - you write something in a sentence and then realise it deserves a chapter. I think I'm quite a tell-y writer, supposedly a cardinal sin, although I don't think it's all bad, and maybe it's a hangover from trying to imitate the dirty realists for so many years. This week, when I think about writing, I'm going think about what gets stretch, what gets told and what gets shown.

I didn't watch any crap films this week: I watched Persepolis - great! And The Reader (which did veer into cobblers-territory but not so many times that I felt irritated and had to turn it off.)


  1. ohhhhhhh i can't wait for book three!
    i have that problem too! i never write in order - i usually story board the entire novel so i know where i'm going, but i hardly ever write in order.

    which do you prefer? order or not?

    the girl at MWF

  2. i like order ... but i'm not that good at it!

  3. perhaps thats what makes your books so good - the lack of order!
    in my amatuer opinion, if something has worked for your other books, why question it? whatever worked for you in Notes and Beautiful worked really REALLY well.
    so stick with that!
    on the flip side, one of my teachers says "you must know the rules to break them"
    so maybe break your rules and regulations!


  4. ps - the link in this:

    "JUNE 1 - Reading Matters on the Road in Bendigo!

    Meet three great writers: Mal Peet, Libby Gleeson and Simmone Howell as they share the platform for an evening session for professionals, plus day sessions at selected schools.

    Enquiries here"

    doesn't work:P

    i attemped to enquire and couldn't! shattered:(


  5. Where/how are you listening to 'The Women'--did you buy the audio or download it somewhere? Would love to hear it!
    A solid floor sounds like a good start...

  6. Megan - i will fix link and yes, you are right I am a rulebreaker rebel type harghhhh!

    Rachel - I joined audible - you end up getting a credit a month which doesn't sound like much but I have been getting through them. And they have a pretty good range - but I find a lot rests on the narrator. Also it's funny what you pick up from audio that you don't from reading ...