Jun 15, 2010

A Little How-To

Those of you who checked today's NY Times just knew I was going to post this.

And how could I not?  Advice for the budding novelist?!  Eager like the metaphorical beaver (and with only slightly better teeth), I clicked away to find...

(image courtesy of 826 National)

And that made my day.  Because there's only one thing I like better than useful advice, and that's pointlessly witty humour.

For those of you (like me) who can't read type that small, the poster encourages writers to check whether they have included all the essentials like plot, dialogue, protagonist and dinosaurs in their novel.  Bonus points are awarded for vampires. (Oddly, international arbitration lawyers are not a prerequisite character type).

But while the poster is just a bit of fun, I did find a grating ring of truth to the final paragraph of the Times' write-up:
First, “it’s reassuring,” as Alarcón writes, “to be reminded that everyone works differently, that there is no single way to arrive at your destination, that, in fact, your destination is necessarily a very different place from anyone else’s.” And second, it is perfectly fine to take a break, to scan and scroll, to seek succor in a poster or an essay, a book of quotations from celebrated authors or a trifling little blog post, but if you want to write, the first advice must always be: write.
Right.  Better get back on that horse soon.

1 comment:

Jill the Duchess said...

The best diagram and easiest to follow instructions I've ever seen. :) I agree with the last bit, like anything in life, the easy way is the hard way. Only way to write the damn book is to write it. Same goes for working out. I've been trying to get my way around both of those for years now! So far, still no success, but I'll let you know if I figure it out!!