Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Let's Call It Cheating

First we had one after another journalist making up stories.

Then came James Frey.

Now we have Kaavya Viswanathan at Harvard, who has admitted to plagerising parts of her novel from two of another writer.

What is going on?  If you can’t write a story or memoir or novel by yourself then perhaps you’re in the wrong career.  Writing should be an internal process that is original.


  1. Preceding all others in time; first.
  2. Not derived from something else; fresh and unusual: an original play, not an adaptation.
  3. Productive of new things or new ideas; inventive: an original mind.

Is that so hard to understand?

The mind boggles.


"Anything we fully do is an alone journey...you are alone when you write a book."

Natalie Goldberg

Friday, April 21, 2006

Advance The Story

I had a three day week again.  Monday, Wednesday, Thursday.  Going to the movies today. I can do my Friday movies as long as I want because….well, you know why.  Nobody is waiting for me to deliver a manuscript.

My lastest book comes out at the end of June.  I only have one gig so far.

Anyway, what I started doing this week was to get it down and to stop thinking of other things.  Nevermind the same two words in a paragraph.  The justs, reallys, verys, and onlys can come out later.  Advance the story.  This is all I have to think about at this stage.  The rest can come in the rewrite and the rewrite after that before it goes to my agent.  I can’t imagine what she’ll think about this novel.  I know she’ll be surprised as I”ve never written anything like this.  But will she like it? I can’t worry about that now.  Advance the story.

Keep moving.  Push ahead.  Advance the story.  This can apply to any kind of book.  It certainly applies to crime novels.  That isn’t to say forget about character.  Never for me. But I can fix that in the rewirte and the rewrite after that.

Advance the story.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Writing Again

I went back to the novel on Monday.  It was a good day.  I zipped along.  Tuesday wasn’t as good, but I got down what I needed to.  I have to remind myself that I’m going to rewrite and not to worry that I have the same word in consecutive sentences.  No, not I, the or and.

Which reminds me.  I picked up a crime novel in the store the other day and glanced at the first page.  There were five “justs” on that one page.  I use my search tool to get out just, very and really.  Yes, there’s a place for them once in awhile.  And I don’t mind them in dialogue, depending on who’s speaking.

Back to my writing on Tuesday.  I finished the chapter I started the day before.  And I knew where I was going next.  I still do.  But I didn’t write today.  Life interfered.

I plan to write tomorrow.  I would rather sit and read Sarah Waters’ book, but I’m not going to indulge myself.  Even though no one is waiting for the novel I’m writing I still have to apply some of my discipline on my daily schedule or I’d never do any work.

I’m going to go read that book now.

Monday, April 10, 2006


"The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible."

Vladimir Nabokov

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Just Can't

I know I’m the first one to say that you have to sit in front of your computer (or whatever you use) for three hours a day no matter what happens.

Well, I’m not.

I don’t feel like writing.  I know, it has nothing to do with feeling like it.  But I don’t want to and I’m not going to.  I started.  Yesterday one paragraph.  Today two lines.

I’m not depressed.  Still, I feel sad.  You’d think I’d be happy today after getting that good review from PW yesterday.  Not.

I’d like to eat 4 or 5 Krispy Kremes.  Or a pint of  Ben & Jerry's Everything but…  It’s been a long time between pints.

So, more time to read.  I wish I knew why I feel so anti-writing.  I guess I’d better take off the rest of the week to think about it.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

PW Review

I got my first review for Too Darn Hot today.  At least I think it’s my first.  There’s always Kirkus.  Usually that comes first.  But this review is a bit early this year, so who knows?

Is it good?  Yes.  I’m very pleased.  I just looked at this blog at this time last year and I was still writing the first draft.  One of my characters had done something I hadn’t expected.

I knew last week that this PW review was coming and then I kept forgetting about it.  This is new for me.  Last year I didn’t know when it was coming so I can’t compare.  I can only compare to early and middle days of being a published writer.  I’d be very anxious and then if it was bad I’d go to bed for the day.  Or week.

God, I’m glad I’ve grown older and maybe wiser.