Writing about Reading: The Goldfinch

March 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

Before I’d read a page of Donna Tartt’s newest book, The Goldfinch, I saw several reviewers call the novel “Dickensian,” and so going in was already prejudiced to consider the book in that light. But even if I hadn’t been so influenced, The Goldfinch would have evoked David Copperfield and Oliver Twist almost immediately.

This is not a good thing.

Don’t get me wrong; I love Dickens. David Copperfield and A Tale of Two Cities are two of my favorite books of all time. In fact, I credit the latter has having a particular influence on my moral compass. Dickens’ novels deserve all the praise and continual study given them by literature professors.

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[INFOGRAPHIC] How to Be Productive

March 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

If you’re like me, you never have enough time to do the things you really want to do; i.e., write more. It seems like every time I sit down to write, I think of a dozen things that need doing. So I’m always looking for ways to maximize the too-few hours per week that I can carve out for writing.

I think I’ve seen the infographic below before, but I came across it today and decided to share it here, on my much neglected blog, because I think there’s a lot of good ideas here. And because I want to revisit it every once in a while as a reminder to myself, which is much more likely to happen if I post it here rather than chuck it into the mountain of links in my bookmark folder. Click to embiggen it:

How To Be Productive

by annavital.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

(A tip of the hat to GalleyCat, which is where I found this today.)

As for a real update, I’m still trying to finish the first draft of the book. I passed the 64,000-word mark this week, but I’m finding it difficult to get to the Big Moment. I think I’m going to have just vomit up that scene and accept that it’s (as the infographic says) “better done than perfect.”

I just finished reading Iain Banks’ novel Matter, which I didn’t blog about because I think I’ve learned everything that Banks can teach me about writing. I keep reading his Culture series because they’re very good and I’ve noticed I write more when I’m reading a Culture novel than when I’m not. Anyway, it’s another Banks book that is slow to start, but really good when it takes off. Unfortunately, even when the story is rocketing along, the author stops for long-winded digressions and pages of description. I found myself skimming a lot, just to get back to the story.

So that’s where I’ve been in a nutshell. Hopefully, my next post will be announcing that I’ve finished the first draft. And hopefully, that will be soon.

Where Am I?

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