Monday, January 24, 2011

Copy Writing

Film Noir by Damalia

"The secret of creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."
—Albert Einstein

I'm reading a great book called The Nighttime Novelist by Joseph Bates. He says:

"New novelists seem to have a particular hang-up about making sure their idea has 'never been done before.' If you have this worry, let me try and put your mind at ease: It's all been done before . . .

"What makes your book different from every other book out there is that it's been written by you . . .

"Don't get discouraged when you begin to think of books similar to yours, as you undoubtedly will, or when you discuss your story idea with someone who chimes in, without thinking, 'Oh, it's like _____.' Just nod your head and say, 'Sorta.' Because it probably is like a number of other books . . . but it's also a particular product of your distinctive vision and voice."
This entertaining and easy-to-read book has sections on: Where to Look for Story Ideas; From Initial Idea to Book; Twist Your Ending; Checking for Plot Holes; Practical Tips; Worksheets.
Bates says:
"The truth is, there are only a handful of writers working who make their living solely by their fiction. Most are people who put in long days, have families to care for or responsibilities to meet, work hard to make the bills, could probably use a rest, and who nevertheless feel compelled to sit by themselves and write stories.

"These Nighttime Novelists publish the majority of books on the shelves . . . all of them have decided that there's something wonderful, something worthwhile, in staying up late to work on a novel. It makes them feel like they're part of something bigger than themselves. It feels meaningful."
If you're looking for a writing book full of tips and encouragement, I'd highly recommend this one.

Another source for tips and encouragement is the TravelinOma comment section!

You Won!

Thanks to everybody who entered the Quirky Giveaway. (I asked for some traits I could give the characters in my upcoming mystery.)
  1. Max Bauman—a wealthy 60-year-old American in 1933. His construction company builds dams.
  2. Clara Bauman—his 55-year-old wife, from humble beginnings, anxious to be accepted by upper-class society.
  3. Alice Bauman—18-year-old heiress to the Bauman fortune. Used to privilege, she's on a grand tour of Europe with her mother.
  4. Baron Erwin Sarkoti—a 36-year-old Hungarian aristocrat who lost everything but his title, and is looking for an heiress.
Here are the winners and their winning quirks:
  • ~Kristina: Max could be a compulsive winker.
  • Diane: Clara should be a nail-biter.
  • Chiska: Alice ought to look around expectantly to see who else is listening.
  • Raejean: Baron Sarkoti will have clicking dentures.
Your prizes are in the mail!

Now it's your turn:

List a book (or author) that could encourage,
teach or influence up-and-coming writers—
like us!


Diane said...

I can think of two books that are great about writing:
1. On Writing: a Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
2. Bird by Bird by Anne LaMott.

Kay Dennison said...

I love this and need that book.

My favorite book is Lawrence Block's "Telling Lies for Fun and Profit" -- it's a fun read and really helpful.

~Kristina said...

Thanks so much Oma! I wish you warm words as you adventure through your next novel.
I would also pitch for the Stephen King book On Writing. Love his blunt-cut-to-the-chase way of putting ideas out there.

Heffalump said...

Congratulations to all the winners!