Musings

Second Post, One Year Later

Well, I sure didn’t intend to let a year pass without further comment.

Been catching up on reading, novels and shorts mostly. I’ve loaded up the Kindle app with various selections offered by BookBub, and ongoing loans from the local library.

Oh, and work and other stuff. Anyway, I’m back …

I started this writing phase well behind the learning curve. Armed with no more than a love of reading, a fertile imagination and a pretty good sense of sentence structure I decided to wade in and start putting ideas down.

First order of business: Learn how to tell a Story.

A cursory glance at the Writing Advice industry indicates that there’s a heck of a lotta folks wanting to learn how to write the next blockbuster. And a plethora of choices are out there for said aspiring authors.

But with the self-publish option, one may opt to skip the whole learning process altogether. Just write a novel, hire an editor, self-pub, and watch the money roll in. How hard can it be? Ka-ching!

Um, what was that about hiring an editor? Sorry, can’t afford that. Guess I’ll have to learn not only how to write a great story, but to edit one as well. To the Self-Help aisle I go, then.

While researching the tools of craft I stumbled across Shawn Coyne’s The Story Grid: What Good Editors Know. Pure Gold, friends. check it out on Amazon. He’s got the whole thing up on his Story Grid blog also.

Mr. Coyne’s “Inside Baseball” way of explaining how great stories are put together struck a chord with me. Early on he rolls up his sleeves, gets down into the trench with you and shines a light on the task at hand. He tells the harried writer, frantic with self-doubt:

“You’re not the problem, the problem is the problem.”

Maybe I’m at that stage of my development as a budding novelist where I can best make use of this information. I’ve absorbed quite a bit over the past couple of years, from web sites, writer’s discussion boards, and how-to books. So, I’m going to give it a go: I’m going to finish slogging through my personal Hell — erm, my work in progress — and apply his story grid to the resulting pile of steaming crap.

Off I go, onward through the fog!

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