Saturday, January 19, 2013

The perfect book.

It's a strange concept: sitting down to write a book. The possibilities can be mind boggling, and that often leads to decision paralysis. (You PA and poli sci types know what I'm talking about.) There are just too many options, and you can't commit to any one, so you write nothing. This has happened to me on more than one occasion.

Chris Baty, founder of NaNoWriMo, offers a suggestion in that book I'm reading: plan your novel in one week, then write. The week gives a solid springboard but doesn't allow one to pre-write the book and ruin it. You brainstorm the characters, settings, some ideas...then get writing. It starts, though, by identifying what qualities make a good book. These are mine:
  • For me, the perfect book has moments of panic, but everything turns out well in the end. 
  • The characters are the people closest to me and those I want to know. They're hardworking, loyal friends with good moral bases. Yes, sometimes they're people in my real life. No, you can't ask me not to include you. (That's like asking Taylor Swift not to write about you after breaking up with her.) Sorry, you know me now, so you have to deal with this reality...although you probably liked me better before you knew this little tidbit, huh?!
  • Usually I'm the main character, or she's highly relatable.
  • There's foreshadowing, and lots of it. 
  • Minor details come back, and sometimes they bite you in the butt. (As in life...) 
  • Love.
  • Distance.
  • People save quirky mementos, like plastic spoons and take-out delivery bags. 
9 times out of 10, I'll get started with the same type of scenario, but where the characters end up tends to be the interesting part. That's the gist of the planning phase: outline characters just enough to give them personalities so they decide where their own story goes, then start writing their story. I'm all about this method: if you get too into a story before it even exists, you're looking for failure. (Been there...) All that said, I'm giving it a shot. I'm sure you'll hear much more about this later, but it starts Monday.

This leads me to wonder, though: are these the same things people want to read about?! If not, does it matter?

<3 KSM


  1. I agree with almost everything besides the turns out well in the end. I read book, I think I read 10, 12 books for year. I don't know why all the books end up in "happy end" once that sometimes the characters didn't deserve it.... Cliches and Bullshits, especially the Girly ones they always turn out well in the end, any idea why???

    1. Well I am a girl... :-) I do tend to read girly books wherein there are happy endings, but I can understand where you're coming from. As in life, not all characters in books deserve a happy ending.

      As for why: I think we like to think life turns out well in the end. I mean, I think a lot of people turn to books to escape from reality, so they want to "experience" a happy ending. Just my opinion... (I'm very glad to hear your thoughts, too, though! Good to hear from you, Brazil!!)


So... Your thoughts??