Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What Is This Blog About: 100 Beginnings For Writers

What Is This Blog About?
For my first entry on this blog, I'll tell you how 100 Beginnings for Fiction Writers works.

Would you like to kick your fiction writing abilities up a notch or two?
This blog will teach you to write better fiction. Specifically better beginnings, but better everything (dialogue, characterization, pacing, and more) as we survey 100 published novels.

What books are included?
There's everything from dime-store novels to Pulitzer prize choices.
Here's a partial list of the books (and authors) that will be analyzed (in no particular order):
1. The Partner (John Grisham)
2. Eragon (Christopher Paolini)
3. Fox's Earth (Anne Rivers Siddons)
4. Rabbitt Run (John Updike)
5. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (Campbell Black)
6. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (Michael Chabon)
7. Closed Circle (Robert Goddard)
8. Empire Falls (Richard Russo)
9. The Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway)
10. Valhalla Rising (Clive Cussler)

How Does This Blog Work?
Here are the steps I will follow as I analyze each of the passages that we survey.
1.) Read the sample passage from the book as a first-time reader (FTR). This means you should read the passage as uncritically as possible to simply obtain a feel for the piece. During this first reading you simply want to judge the piece on the basis of whether or not you liked it.
2.) Read the sample passage again, noting specific parts of the writing that you thought were extremely good or bad.
3.) Read my analysis of the piece. The analysis will describe the best/worst sentences in the example and describe why the writing works or not.
4.) Re-write the sample, attempting to communicate the same story, but in a better way.
5.) I provide a re-written sample of the piece to show how to capture the author's voice and style to learn more effectively how you may incorporate the fictional elements into your own stories.

Are you interested? I hope so. See you next time, when we'll survey the beginning of one of my favorite books, The Partner, by John Grisham.