Sunday, January 17, 2010

from First Draft to Finished Novel by Karen S. Wiesner

Wiesner's book, First Draft in 30 Days, helped me learn the craft of writing. Still today, every time I start a manuscript, I use a research list,a formatted outline and a "lay it aside" mindset. Along came her second writer-self-help book. I began reading at first with disappointment. This stuff was deep. It didn't help. On page thirty, I discovered a great fill-in-the-blank formula for a high concept blurb.
After that, I pressed on and found other gems throughout the book. Layering my characters became easier with Wiesner's idea of enhancement and contrast. Great examples using her own fiction displayed suggestions in the multiple appendices at the end. I learned through this book to list a symbol for my main character. This and other ideas, according to Wiesner, should be added to an outline for strengthening the foundation of my book.
Wiesner uses a symbol of building a story like a contractor frames a structure. She suggests we start with a blueprint and end with decorating the finished building. One decorating tip I found beneficial was about combining description with actions and thoughts.
By the way, for those as blind as me, a tip to the publisher of this book: I first thought the book had no page numbers, and I looked several times before I found one. Page numbers are listed in black at the bottom of each page on top of a dark gray stripe, but they are there.
My take-away "from First Draft to Finished Novel" mounted higher than I'd hoped. Thanks, Ms. Wiesner, yet again for true, practical assistance.
Due to recent rulings, I confess I purchased this book and wasn't compensated for telling our blog readers about it.

1 comment:

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