Monday, August 27, 2007


10 PM and too late o'clock.
I should be in bed. Actually I should be reading the pages from the other students, write my comments and then go to bed. And doing my homework. Instead I went to the bar with Andy and Joe. We talked about writing novels, finishing novels, premises and what went on today.
This morning John Lescroart talked about the six things you have to consider if you want to create a best selling novel. Two things on the list were write, write and write more and finish your novel.
Our class was spent starting an in depth critique of our work. The writer could not talk until the very end.
The class was positive yet offered many constructive suggestions.
The homework involved those who wrote prologues.
Shorten them up. Make sure they are really prologues. If they aren't then make them chapter 1.
Several members of our class have been tasked with the re writing of their prologues.
This afternoon Ann Hood talked about turning real life into fiction and Gary Braver discussed the ten basic ingredients of a thriller.
And then I went to the bar.
I'm spending a lot of time in the bar.
I can't remember why. It involves something with Bailey's and Coffee.
And muses.
It has something to do with muses...


liz fenwick said...

All writers seem to spend a great deal of time in the bar :-) By then of the RNA confence in Leicester in July the bar staff thought RNA stood for Really Nice Alcohalics instead of Romantic Novelist Association.

I really like the write, write and write some more..........

Anonymous said...

Yes, those liquory coffee yummies tend to fill you with a warm toasty glow. I used to frequent an after work Irish pub that made a debilitating bedtime treat named Hoolie Cap: coffee, whole cream, sugar, sugar, sugar, and six different liquors.

Anonymous said...

Really Nice Alcoholics, I love that.

Janet said...

OK, I'm curious. What is a "real" prologue?

ORION said...

Good Question Janet.
Karen Joy Fowler gave us some really wonderful examples of prologues.
Those that took place either considerably earlier or later than the rest of the book. Sometimes a prologue is really not necessary (such as in fantasy where it involves a young girl meeting up with a master wizard in the woods while she is collecting herbs)
Some examples are shortened mood setters.
There were no cut and dried rules- Karen leaves that up to the author but those with prologues were asked to do them as chapter 1 and then change it up to see what fit better. I think that is the point- to be open to the fact while it is way cool to have a prologue -- it may not be necessary or not add much to the story-- or it may be a great idea to add one and create an ominous or other specific mood.
Contrary to popular belief NOTHING is writ in stone (except maybe prophesies...)

Janet said...

Thanks for the answer, Pat. I followed your trail of crumbs from AbsoluteWrite over here some time ago and have been mostly lurking since. But I thought I'd let you know that my copy of Lottery arrived today, along with, ironically perhaps, Chess for Dummies.

I guess my prologue passes the test then. It happens well before the rest of the story. I don't plan on labelling it a prologue though, since learning that a significant number of readers skip them.

Susan Flemming said...

I'm enjoying reading your posts on the conference, even though it's making me even more homesick than usual.

I'd read so much about prologues being a no-no that I got rid of mine. So it's interesting to read that several of the attendees homework was to work on their prologues.

BTW... great photo of West Maui Mountains.

Janet said...

Curses upon you! Curses I say! Do you know what time it is in Eastern Standard? I should be sleeping. Do you know what I've been doing instead?

It's your fault. It's all your fault. You could have written a book that was easier to put down. I hope you feel guilty.

Two thumbs up, nonetheless.

Now, how on earth are you going to follow up on that?