Happy Holidays All,
I am going to be the odd man out here, perhaps, and say SLOW DOWN. And I mean WAY DOWN.
Here is a SHORT list of things that probably should be addressed or pondered on each page of a good book, and certainly each 3-4 page scene, courtesy Jamie Gold, who I think used some stuff from John Truby.
Links to her worksheets:
“So as we go through our story, we need to make sure every scene has at least three of the following revelations:
- a plot point
- a character’s goal
- action to advance the plot
- action to increase the tension
- character development
- a cause of character conflict
- an effect of character conflict
- how stakes are raised
- a reinforcement of the stakes
- character motivation
- character backstory
- world building
- story theme
- the story’s tone or "mood”
That does not (but should also) include:
- Precise use of POV with zero flaws
- Meticulous word choices in dialogue for each character
- Psychological makeup of character
- How psychology and backstory influences dialogue and action
- Links to previous foreshadowing
- LAYERING OF PLOT
- LAYERING OF CONFLICT
- UNRESOLVED MORAL DILEMMAS
HOW DOES ANYONE/ANYTHING BUT AN ALIEN CYBORG
WRITING ROBOT CONSIDER ALL OF THAT AT 5,000-10,000 WORDS A SITTING???
I believe that great writers DWELL on the world of the PAGE until each page contributes something magisterial to the flow of the book overall, and becomes part of an organic whole. That does not happen in 60 seconds, as in the unrealistic and slightly delusional world of the keyboard warrior.
Great writers DO NOT rush through the manuscript seeing if they can get 10,000 words a day. That is nuts.
As Truman Capote said to Jack Kerouac: “That’s not writing Jack. That’s typing.”
A great novel has about 365 pages, on average. (Close to that magic 90,000 word limit so many agents look for.) That is one page or 250 great words per day.
In my humblest of opinions: if more people strove for 250 great words per day and a masterpiece at the end of the year, more people would be reading and less people would be watching Netflix. I guarantee you.