Day 19 – Every Me and Every You

Got some good sleep last night, and woke up quite refreshed. Wow, a long week! I don’t think I was in bed before midnight once this week. I think it really affected the writing. It’s hard to force yourself to write when the muses are sleeping…

Well, as I had hoped, I got my hour in early today. More laying down of story, but not a lot of style development. I’m hoping that it just starts kicking in, but I’m getting a little worried now. Maybe I should take a passage and just concentrate on developing the style. It will cut down my per-day word count. Again, not a problem in itself, but in was certainly one of my strategies to just write and get it down specifically so I don’t get bogged down in editing at this point. However, I think I’ve accomplished that, and simply writing for the sake of writing isn’t necessarily a good thing at this point, right? Perhaps over the next day I should concentrate on style, build that up, and then slowly work up my word count up again.

I mentioned that Tom Wolfe book yesterday: The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, which is a collection of articles/essays that ran in various publications in the 60s like Esquire magazine. These are pieces where he deliberately tried to develop his style, a more colourful way of writing non-fiction.

I’m part way the first article, a bit on Las Vegas in the 60s. Very interesting about the “modern” boomerang neon light shapes he describes, and the Daisy Duke shorts. Of course, this being 15 years before the Dukes of Hazard, he had to go through a few paragraphs describing this “new, edgy” fashion. He does a great job of it though, as if he were planning to write about Vegas for an audience 50 years into the future. Amazing.

Also, I promised to tell you about Terry Fallis’s book, which I finished this week, The Best Laid Plans. As I mentioned, I first heard of this book after it won the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour — before it was even published. I believe that’s a first. I also believe it will be marked as a watermark in Canadian Literature in the future as the nature of the publishing industry changes.

After the award, the book was picked up by an agent and a publisher in pretty short order. And it’s no wonder — it’s extremely original premise and lead character really stand out. I’m not going to go into too much detail (I hate it when people ruin books and movies for me — even little snippets is enough to drive me nuts) but it does deal with a fictional Canadian election, and a fictional Canadian government, showing how things really work behind closed doors of the political system. If you’ve ever seen “Yes, Minister” on the BBC, you know what I’m talking about.

Great book though — I strongly encourage you to check it out!

I also read The Great Gatsby for like the 100th time — but this time with real intent. I always pick up new things every time I read it, but this time more than usual, probably because I was looking for it. Any student of writing should read Fitzgerald for his use of language and his story structure and pacing, if nothing else.

Anyway, got to get on with the day. Until tomorrow,

~Graham

(Novel Writing Totals)

Hours Today: 1
Words Today: 1,412
Hours Total: 19
Words Total: 27,639

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