Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Hot on the Trail

Book I'm Reading: Scene & Structure by Jack M. Bickham
Song in my head: Tell Me Why by Taylor Swift

I am hot on the trail of a couple of concepts regarding fiction writing, and I'm getting close.

One of these concepts is Deep Point of View. I know it when I see it now, which is the first step in being able to create it myself. How am I working on this concept?


Reading writers who are masters at this discipline. Robert Parker, whose book Gunman's Rhapsody I just finished, is one of these. Why? Because when I finished reading this book, I realized he hadn't TOLD me anything about Wyatt Earp's character in the story, but I knew all about him. I knew he was a man of action instead of words. That brotherhood was the strongest bond in his life until Josie Marcus entered. That a strong code of honor ran through him, but it was his own code, not one put on him by the law or expectations. Parker didn't say anything about any of these aspects, but I knew them because he SHOWED them in Wyatt's actions.

The other concept I'm hot on the trail of is Scene/Sequel. I think this is something I've done instictively in the past, but if I can master how to do it deliberately, I can use it to more effect. Bickham's book Scene and Structure spends quite a bit of time discussing scene and sequel use, and while it is wordy and detailed in a manner reminiscent of Swain's Techniques of the Selling Writer or Sol Stein's Stein on Writing, when I concentrate and boil things down, even I can 'get' what he's saying. I think this method of writing/plotting will be helpful to me, especially in the plotting and rewriting stages.

At least these ideas play into one of my strengths: analyzing things to death. If I can figure out how others do it right, I can duplicate it in my own writing. At least that's the theory. But if I don't know which animal to shoot at, this little Elmer Fudd will be forever letting that pesky rabbit of fiction writing get the best of her.


  1. Look how far you have come. One day, Grasshopper, you will be able to walk the length of rice paper without leaving a mark. (-;

  2. When you can snatch the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.

    HAHA, I just had to piggy-back off of what CJ said ;)

    Trust me, you are totally getting the concepts! I can't wait until everyone can read your books, then they'll know!