The Week in Words

I haven’t blogged in a whole week because I’ve been knee deep in editing ‘The Forgotten Road’, integrating some changes suggested by the agent who rejected me a week or so ago.  It takes me about a week to get through a typical edit now, and I chopped out about 3500 words on this pass, wrote a new prologue, and tied some themes into the story.  I don’t know if a story is ever done, but I feel as good about this story as I have at any point in the last year, so here’s hoping the next round of submissions meets with some type of success.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading in the last two weeks as well.  I worked through Strunk and White’s ‘The Elements of Style’ and am about halfway through Christopher Vogler’s ‘The Writer’s Journey’.  Both should be required reading for writers.  S&W is not an easy read, nor would you ‘read’ it end to end more than once.  It’s a reference book, and it’s like reading the dictionary, but every lesson in there is worth learning.  I’ll probably pop it open to random pages once in a while and reinforce the lessons.
Vogler’s ‘Journey’ absolutely must be read by every fiction writer, and read early on in their career.  Actually, if you love movies, I highly recommend it as well.  It’s Hollywood’s Bible about characters and plots, and by the time you’re a hundred pages into it, you will be watching movies and reading books with a completely different eye.  For me, it helps to reinforce that I have done some things right, and missed out on a few other things.  It will definitely come into play in my next book, and should save me some time by eliminating a number of editing sessions.
I read two books by Jonathon Tropper in the last couple of weeks as well:  The Book of Joe, and How to Talk to a Widower.  I’d be lying if I said these weren’t a bit of chick-lit for guys.  Light and quick to read, with a good flow, they’re pretty good.  But I have a hard time believing they’re written by a guy.  But if you like Jasper Fforde (which I do), you’ll probably like these.
We actually got through a few movies this weekend as well:
North By Northwest – Classic Alfred Hitchcock movie with Cary Grant.  Great story, great dialog, and well worth the watch.  3.5 stars
Monsters vs Aliens – CGI Animated – not really for little kids, and honestly, the animated stuff has lost its wow factor for me (yes, I now take it for granted).  Maybe it was because I was sitting next to a 3 year old asking questions every 30 seconds, but I was glad it was only 96 minutes long. 1.5 stars
Yes Man – Jim Carrey – Not bad.  Very little gross out, mildly amusing.  Wow, did I see the influence of “Writer’s Journey’ in this one.  Very formulaic.  2 stars
On a personal front, I’m proud to report that Lorelai has completed potty training, and is now diaper free 24 hours a day.
Reece is still working on it, much to our chagrin.

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