Writing

Improvement By Reading About Writing

My random thought to start: Minutes are made up of seconds. Were there once smaller time measurements called firsts, which we got bored of and discarded?

Now to the rest of the post!

Last time around, I explained how I abandoned my Camp NaNoWriMo project, and decided to focus on learning more about writing technique. I had some books I intended to read, in the hopes of improving my abilities. I’ve now read them, and they’ve made me realise something.

Stopping my project to focus on technique is one of the best things I could have done.

The three books in question were written by author and writing coach C. S. Lakin. They were: The 12 Key Pillars of Novel Construction, Writing The Heart Of Your Story, and Shoot Your Novel: Cinematic Techniques To Supercharge Your Writing.

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I read through them all in about three weeks, and my outlook on writing has completely changed. Lakin is all about extensive planning before jumping into a project. I was ready to take her advice with a grain of salt, but the more I read, the more I came round to her way of thinking.

A lot of people complain that a framework constricts them and hampers their creativity. But Lakin points out that most pianos have 88 keys. That’s a relatively small number, yet musicians make almost limitless forms of music on them. As a pianist, that really spoke to me. The framework doesn’t hinder me, it gives me something to work with.

I really feel like these books have strengthened my ability to write a novel. I feel completely re-energised about creating, and I’m ready to start work on my third draft of Generic Fantasy. Planning and restructuring are going to be huge parts of this draft. I’m going to spend August and September at the very least, developing my characters and chapters, and looking at where I need to rewrite. Locations are going to change, secondary characters are going to get more prominent roles. Some scenes will be dropped, and replaced with new ones, which will hopefully strengthen the novel’s ability to tell the story I intended.

If everything goes to plan, I’d like to have this next draft done by February 2018. Then, I hope to look at acquiring some more beta readers, and starting to think about how to get the novel out into the world. I’ll need to research querying agents, writing a synopsis and the like, just as thoroughly as I’m researching novel technique. I’ve got a long road to travel, but I’m massively looking forward to travelling it.

Thanks for reading, and I hope your writing’s going well!

Find out more about C.S. Lakin at her website Live Write Thrive.

Images courtesy of Pixabay.

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2 thoughts on “Improvement By Reading About Writing

  1. I totally agree with you, Philip! I have been reading books about writing as well, and I have learned that I will never stop learning the craft. I found Generic Fantasy in my files, and I plan to read it asap. I am so sorry, I couldn’t properly beta read for you, but you know, life happens…lol.

    Liked by 1 person

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