Wonderbook that Brain!

September 28th, 2016Posted by Nancy

I’m still working through the exercises from Ursula K. LeGuin’s Steering the CraftI’m currently rewriting a snippet from the novel in limited third person, detached narrator, observer narrator, and involved author (omniscient) styles.  Needless to say, I’m quite adequate at limited third person – which is my primary mode of writing – and I struggle mightily with involved author.  To my surprise, I suspect that a good deal of the work I’ve done on the new book (the original short story and the “250 words a day” project) is actually written in a style quite close to that but that may be because the story started as my Tanith Lee tribute and she used that remote involved author voice to great effect.  Of course, I’ve also been writing one character’s section in the present tense and another character’s in second person (just because one does that, once in a while) so know hows how this will evolve.

In the continuing absence of plot – and while I continue to do things like read biographies of Cardinal Richelieu and watch the ULCA lecture series on Science, Religion and Magic on Youtube – I’ve found a new book of work with once I finish Steering the Craft.

Jeff Vandermeer’s Wonderbook is full of strange illustrations, penguins, maps of the structure of Iain Banks’ The Use of Weapons, interviews with writers like Lauren Beukes and George R. R. Martin, writing exercises, and pages of advice on narrative, characters, point of view and more. It looks fascinating (though I admit that it makes writing look like VERY hard work.  It is, but I’m not sure I want to be reminded of that at this stage).  There’s even a website with more exercises and information.

I’m looking forward to diving into it.

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