Monday, February 15, 2010

In Which I Try to Educate Myself

I have the day off!  It's ME ME ME Day!

So obviously I'm spending it writing. 

Or not.

Actually, I'm spending the day on education.  A little while back I made a list of things I liked about a good book and then compared my own novel to that list.  That process was so fruitful that I'm trying to take it a bit further.  Today I'm going through another novel - one with a structure similar to the one I'm going for - with a pack of 12 highlighters and a graph-paper notebook.  I want to get to the bottom of this structure.  For example:
  • How much of it is dialog? action? backstory? description?
  • How many words are used to describe settings?  characters?  props? 
  • How frequently are characters introduced?  props?
  • How many hints are dropped?
  • How are Important Facts revealed - in dialog? in internal dialog? in action?
I know books about writing go on endlessly about this stuff in general terms, but I simply like to see these things for myself.  And of course I don't intend to the copy the structure of the specimen novel any more than I would copy the story.  I just want to see what a really great book is really made up of.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great plan. I've never done this, but that's maybe because, when the book is really good, I get to absorbed in the story to concentrate on the mechanics!