Reading is Writing

June 20, 2010 § Leave a comment

Being a writer doesn’t just mean sitting down to the computer to type, or to hand write in a notebook.  It means thinking and imaging scenes to be written.  It involves reading books and watching films and reading them all as text.  I hope that all of my time spend reading, watching films, and thinking about writing all help me in my actual writing.  Today, I deliberately left my ipod at home for my long run, which normally I would never do.  I think I have convinced myself that I need music to keep me running, but I decided that I need to learn how to run by myself, with my own thoughts.  So, I left Greenie (yes, so I’ve named my ipod) at home, and made myself think about my book and the scenes I plan on writing tomorrow.  I feel successful in that I have decided what I will write tomorrow and prepared myself for it, and I’m excited about it!

I read the titled story in Perfect Recall.  I will say that Ann Beattie does a tremendous job at characterization and I’m fascinated by them all, and I feel like I know them quite well after just a couple pages.  I hope to be able to do the same in my own book.  The stories she weaves are strange and maybe a touch unrealistic (at least to in my hum-drum life), but its the endings that leave me a bit unsettled.  I was a Literature and Writing major in college.  I’ve taken classes at the Loft Literary Center for three years.  I should know if there are major differences in style or form with short stories, novellas, and novels (besides the length), but I’m not sure I do.  I like short essays, and short stories, but when does a writer know if a story is better suited for a short story or a novel?  I guess that’s my musing of the day.

I watched some of the special features for E.T.  Spielberg didn’t let the characters see E.T. before they actually filmed their scenes with him.  And in the trailer, they don’t show E.T. except for his fingers or shadow.  I thought that was cool.  It was just enough to give a person curiosity to see the film.  In my small writing group, we often talk about suspense and how to draw in the reader.  Ian says (I know it probably sounds like I am in a cult for as many times as I use that phrase) that writers should “give it away” earlier in the book.  Have a dramatic opening scene–show the monster–and then the reader will be hooked, but the writer often wants to keep the secret hidden for chapters.  It is an interesting (and usually heated) conversation.

I’m tempted to watch another movie, but it is too late, and I will sleep much too long tomorrow if I do.  I’m signing off for now.

Until tomorrow.


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