Monday, February 22, 2010

Don't forget my interview with YA author/agent Mandy Hubbard. Monday March 1st. There will be a chance to win a copy of Mandy's book, Prada and Prejudice. Hope to see you here. =)

I hope everyone had a most wonderful unplug week. I did. And before I get on with my post, a HUGE congrats to Ivy on her jumping. Saturday was the start of the show season for her and Shamrock. She won two 1st place ribbons, 1 third place ribbon, and 1 fifth place ribbon. Pretty good start, I'd say. So, CONGRATS IVY!!!!!! =) (I know she reads this blog.) hehe

I have found a most wonderful book on revising and editing and I feel I must tell you about it. Revision & Self-Editing by James Scott Bell. I am going to be doing several posts on this book. It is just that good. If you have read it, please comment about how it has helped you in your writing life. 


First off, James Scott Bell also wrote another great book, Plot and Structure. He is a best-selling novelist for those of you who aren't aware of that. Presumed Guilty is just one of his great reads.


In Revision & Self-Editing Mr. Bell shows us how to feel our writing. The techniques he teaches, become natural. Easy. Regular.


He tells you that there have been whole books written on each of the chapters in this book. And there have. But the purpose of this book is to explain the most important aspects of each one, so you do them without even thinking about them. 


Chapter one begins with a quote. "Keep working. Don't wait for inspiration. Work inspires inspiration. Keep working." Michael Crichton. WOW! How true. =)


I had a revelation when I  read the first three or so pages about one problem I was having with SEVENTY TWO HOURS. BAM! I was able to fix my little snag.

In the first chapter he explains what makes memorable characters. Grit, wit, and it.  He says there is one unbreakable rule for major characters in fiction: No wimps! And I have read books where the main character who reacts rather than acts. And as Mr. Bell says, a character can start out to be wimp, but VERY EARLY ON, he must develop real grit. He's got to have forward motion. He says, grits is guts in action. And he gives great examples with real novels where the author has shown grit in fiction. 


"Wit is something everyone warms to when it's natural, not forced." James Scott Bell. Great stuff. If the character can laugh at himself , wit comes naturally. He reminds us of Rhett Butler and gives us an example of Rhett's ability to do this. And I said to myself, oh yeah."

It, is that personal magnetism that shows up when certain people walk into a room. All the attention is directed at them. Margaret Mitchell describes it in the opening line of Gone With The Wind: Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm, as the Tarleton twins were. Scarlett definitely has It. And Mitchell goes on to wisely provide action to back it up. I must reread that book. 


On Wednesday I will have more on this wonderful writing tool. Have you read the book? If not, you are missing out. Thanks for reading. =)

 

27 comments:

  1. Great post! I love that Michael Crichton quote. I'll definitely need to read this book. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm a HUGE J.S. Bell fan!! I absolutely love his concise yet spot-on advice. I own each of his books and love them. His newest writer book is called, The Art of War for Writers. And it's AWESOME. It's easy to read and I highly recommend it! :-) Welcome back!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Excellent post and information. This will encourage everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Welcome back from Unplugged (well, partially unplugged) Week!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Nisa, Yeah, that quote is so very cool, isn't it? All writers MUST read this book. =)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Jody, Thanks for the welcome. It is nice to be back. And I'll have to get The Art of War For Writers. =)

    ReplyDelete
  7. The Wild Magnolia, thanks, glad you enjoyed it. =)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hey Scott! Uh, yeah, partially unplugged. I couldn't help. it. The contests that Elana and Shelli were doing were just too DANG enticing. =)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow, Ivy!! That is a huge accomplishment. Congratulations are definitely in order!

    Robyn: Thanks for this informative post. I always enjoy what you share.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Kristi, thanks for the congrats to Ivy. She had a fab time and can't wait until the next one. =)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Congrats to Ivy!
    And yes, I have that book, too. It's a great resource.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks Paul. Ivy had a great day. We were tired though. And the show season is just beginning. And it's SO expensive. YIKES! =)

    ReplyDelete
  13. "Grit, wit, and it." I love it. I am definitely going to buy this book. Thanks for sharing it with us, Robyn. (and welcome back!)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks Shannon. I really love this book. I'll have more posts about it. It's just too important not to. =)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I liked the inspiration comes from work. I've experienced that before. Sounds like a great book.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Patti, it is, it is. I have really discovered some things since I started reading it. What fun. =)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sounds like a great book. I love the quote!

    I have an award for you here: http://myth-takes.blogspot.com/2010/02/awards-and-more.html

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hey Dani!! I doooo love the quote too. =)

    I shall pop over.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great review, Robyn! That book sounds great--I've heard lots of people love it, but I've not tried it out yet.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Congrats to Ivy! I haven't read this book by JSB, but I have one of his others and it's terrific. Guess what just hopped on my wish list?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks Beth. Try it, you'll love it. I'll let you read my copy. =)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Jill, thanks, Ivy did really well. She's thoroughly excited. And this book needs to be in every writers bookcase. =)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Interesting post. I honestly go back and forth over the concept of reading "how to write" books. Often I prefer to just read books that sell well, but this one does sound interesting.

    Oh, btw, have you seen this contest: http://michellemclean.blogspot.com/2010/02/celebration-contest.html

    ReplyDelete
  24. Congratulations to Ivy! Have been missing you!

    Will DEFINITELY check out this Bell book, which I haven't read.

    THANKS!!
    patti

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks so much for recommending this book! I definitely have to check it out. And now you've inspired me to re-read "Gone With the Wind" and watch the movie. :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. This is great! How I love Scarlet's take on any situation. She's one of my favorite characters.

    ReplyDelete

Leave me a note! :)