Tuesday, December 13, 2011
If you would like to increase your vocabulary, look no further than Elizabeth George's books in the Inspector Lynley series! I consider myself well-read and, yet, for the first time I can recall there is nearly one word per chapter that I have to find in the dictionary before I can continue. Thankfully, I started reading this series on my iPad so it is simple to just tap the word and it pulls up the definition. Phew.
One of the reasons that I ventured into Elizabeth George's series was because I had begun reading her guide to fiction writing--Write Away--and, feeling deeply drawn to it right off, realized that I needed to connect to her fiction as well. This hasn't happened for me with most of the 'guide' books I've read this past year. What was different about this one?
Just now I went back and re-read the first few pages and there isn't any single sentence or phrase that captures me. So what is it? Maybe it's because she starts by discussing character? That could be it. Certainly, I feel like my own writing is more character-driven than anything else, with even the location personified in my mind. Ms. George then gives attention to setting followed by landscape. Hmm. Only then does she address plot.
Ah-ha! That's the kinship I feel with her writing process. My first draft is primarily characters, setting and landscape! The plot felt forced from inception and easily fell to pieces when picked at. That led me to my current immersion in the study of craft which easily and repeatedly clarified what was missing--conflict. So I essentially have a first draft set in a place I love and filled with characters I find interesting, but missing the driving force. LOL But you know what? I feel okay about that because I'm not done! I've now made good progress toward resolving the problems. Let the revisions and rewrites begin...