On writing

I’m officially past the 10,000 word mark on my novel! Woo hoo! This is the longest thing I’ve ever written, except for my senior thesis which isn’t quite the same. It still doesn’t have a title, and I’m not really sure where it’s going, but it does seem to be on its way there.

While complaining to a friend (see his blog at confessions123.blogspot.com) who is far more accomplished than I at this writing stuff, I mentioned that I can’t write description and my paragraphs are all really short. He suggested I read Hemmingway. Now I’ve never before picked up Hemingway because of the whole Spain/bullfighting thing, and I’m quite sorry to say that I’ve been missing out. Hemingway writes the way I wish I could. He gives a complete sense of place without seeming to describe things, he conveys the past without heavy exposition, and he uses dialogue like salt, sparingly and to taste, instead of the way I do, which is more like an overturned pepper shaker. I’m reading A Moveable Feast when I’m not writing, and am trying to be very conscious of what he’s doing in it. I’m noticing a lot, and hopefully I can implement even a few of the things that I’m picking up on. Once I finish it I’ll probably pull out Stephen King’s On Writing again; I loved it the first time through, and I’m sure there are things in it I can actually apply now that I’m doing some writing.

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