Friday, April 30, 2010

Okay, awesome

I hesitate to give you this link, out of fear you will disappear into it and never come back here, but ... sigh. Take it and go with my blessing. But try to come back and visit me. Or, maybe I will run into you there and we can shake our heads in solidarity and go, "I know. Exactly." It's Timothy's Hallinan's amazing series of essays on Finishing Your Novel. I linked to it recently, but in such a way that you could gloss over it. Not so now. It's a must-read if you're learning how to finish a book.

I discovered them while researching my plotting talk, and I've been back a few times, including just now, when I read the "Your Critic" chapter and it totally hit home. Pretty much everything he says resonates with me and makes me go, "Me too! Oh, me too!"

Somewhere in his blog I came across a letter written to him by Helen Simonson, author of the debut novel and big buzzy bestseller Major Pettigrew's Last Stand (which I have not read, but plan to, though I'm 144th on the list at the library!), in which she confessed that it was his website that got her to finish the book, and that while she was in the throes of it, she banned herself from all sites but his. Huh. Cool.

Also: fantastic writing quotes. One day I will comb through his entire site and pilfer them for the margin of Not For Robots, where I keep my own collection of writing quotes. (Not For Robots could really use an overhaul/updating. Maybe I will do that after I finish my current novel!)

Thank you, Timothy Hallinan! And, I just picked up one of your books. Cheers!

11 comments:

Wyman Stewart said...

Thanks for the link. Insights always welcome.

Jessica Lindsay said...

Just read the 'tone-deaf' segment and cringed. If it sounds writery, it's probably weak. Good writing lets the story shine, not the author's superb word choices. Love. Needed to hear. Back I go!

Laini Taylor said...

Look, see, I knew it would happen. I lost everybody today. I sent them away to another blog. It's lonesome here. *Crickets* Ha ha! I see by my outclicks that lots of people went over to Timothy Hallinan's site. I hope it was rewarding! Cheers :-)

Stella said...

Thank you, thank you! It truly is a great site. and I haven't finished reading through it yet.

Jessica Lindsay said...

If you're lonesome, you're welcome to pop over to my blog! :) A couple of us have been discussing the NaNo Effect. We'd love to hear about how a NaNo once killed a story of yours and how you were able to avoid that Effect this time around. :)

Timothy Hallinan said...

Wow, and thanks so much. I put a lot of work into that section and it means quite a bit to me to know that people find it useful.

I'm eventually going to do a restructuring, bringing into the FINISH YOUR NOVEL section the guest threads in THE BLOG CABIN. In one, CREATIVE LIVING, artists of several kinds (but mostly writers) talked about how they integrated daily creative activity into their lives, and in the current one, PLOTTING VS, PANTSING, a bunch of excellent novelists talk about whether they plot in advance or write by the seat of their pants, and why. Presently up is Rachel Brady, whose FINAL APPROACH was one of my favorite mysteries of 2009.

CREATIVE LIVING is the top link on the right in the BLOG CABIN section. Some people wrote really enlightening stuff.

Laini Taylor said...

You're welcome, Timothy (Tim?)! Thank YOU. I look forward to checking out those threads. But first ... I must write! :-)

Jennifer Morian Frye said...

Thought I should say that although I have every intention of going and reading, I can think of no reason that I wouldn't want to come back here! Heaven forbid! : ) On a side note, I, as a pusher of really good books, successfully converted another friend into a Laini Taylor fan. I'm proud of this accomplishment.

Suzanne said...

So guess what I've been reading hungrily for the last few days... And guess what I've been doing when I'm not reading... Writing! As in: getting closer to finishing!

Thanks so much for the link and for perhaps the nudge in the rear that I desperately needed.

Jenn (From the Mixed-Up Files) said...

Thank you, Laini! I've been reading my way through Timothy Hallinan's Finishing Your Novel (in between working on mine) and just had to check back here to thank you for sharing that. Wow, so helpful. This will go right up there for me with your Not for Robots essays and Cheryl Klein's essays as being my go-to online places for writerly inspiration.

tone almhjell said...

Oh yes, I went, and came back in a state of panic. What if I do every single thing he says not to? What if my POW is all wrong? And 200 pages on the characters before you start the story? I certainly didn't do that! Wah! Much less terrifying here, I think.