Day 71 – Sideways

SidewaysJust found out today that in exactly one week from Tuesday, the sequel to Sideways will be published. Quite aptly, it is call Vertical.

Now as some of you know, Sideways is one of my favourite movies – it was one of those rare movies that not only captured the book, but took advantage of the things that movies could do that a book couldn’t like film the actual vineyards and incorporate that quirky music that really made it. (BTW, if we played a really short game of “What Sideways character are you?”, I’d be Miles. But then you knew that…)

What I really like about it is the “buddy road trip” quality. Today I realized how close my novel is to that one in that respect. (I’m not sure if “buddy road trip” is an actually description of a type of book or movie, but if it’s not, consider it coined…) I’ve always said here I’m not going to give away too much of the story, but I think I’ve already intimated in these pages that it is about two friends who are, if not on a road trip strictly speaking, at least travelling together.

Beyond that, the two books are not really that close. Except for that fact that there is a lot of drinking in both.

I found out about the new book because I dusted off my old copy of Sideways this afternoon at lunch, and decided to find out what Rex Pickett, the book’s author, was up to these days. How’s that for a coincidence?

Leading up to the book launch, he also started blogging about his experience writing and publishing Sideways. This is the real gem, I think. It’s interesting to hear about his (mis)adventures during the writing and attempted publishing of the book. How much is real in the novel, how much is totally fiction, and where the lines blur. It’s also encouraging to hear about the trials and tribulations he went through. It’s kind of what I want this blog to be in a way: encouragement for other writers who might relate to the ups and downs of the novel-writing journey (and I say that with as little pomposity as possible. And yes, I realize how difficult that is when I use words like “pomposity”…)

”How Low Can You Go and Still Turn on Your Laptop?” he asks. Beautiful. He’s been there. There at that point where sheer futility of writing a whole novel and sinking self-esteem meets knowing (rightly or wrongly) that it’s a piece of crap. And still getting up the next day to write more.

He also mentions at one point that when he was finished writing, he was worried that there was too much dialogue and not enough description. I believe I’ve voiced those exact same fears in these pages…

Anyway, if you’re looking for another blog from a writer describing writing a novel, check out his blog: He’s also got links to pre-order his new book (I’m hoping to get one of the limited edition signed hardcovers…)

My own writing went well today. Put a fun little scene in today that I think really encapsulates the relationship of the two main characters at this point of the story, and subtly explores the dynamic that has always existed between them. Poignant, exciting, dramatic. Punchy. And fun. (I hope.)

That scene led naturally into another that I wasn’t really expecting, and now I’m headed down an alley that I’m not sure where it ends. Heady stuff!

Until tomorrow,


(Novel Writing Totals)

Hours Today: 1
Words Today: 1,564
Hours Total: 54.50
Words Total: 73,287

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