A couple of days ago I mentioned Heather Sellers’ book, CHAPTER AFTER CHAPTER: DISCOVER THE DEDICATION & FOCUS YOU NEED TO WRITE THE BOOK OF YOUR DREAMS.
This book is inspiring, fun, and easy to use. I’ve read so many good books on the writing process. At some point I had to stop reading and just write. I know how to write, I’m inspired, I have good habits.
When John Truby’s audio class, STORY FOR NOVELISTS, inspired me to write a novel, I felt lost at first. Truby’s class made me know I could do it (it’s a fantastic amazing class!), but what an undertaking. Where do I begin? How do I begin?
I don’t even remember how I found Sellers’ book, but it was and is the perfect guide for me. All the chapters help me move forward with the writing, but the one called “Wise Guides” is my current favorite. It helped me know I can use other novels and writing books for help. But, Sellers says, pick only six: three novels and three writing guides.
This works for me. Setting limits on creative projects moves them forward. Setting limits enhances creativity.
Plus, it makes it fun. I chose my “wise guides,” and they are serving me well. I go deep into the six books without being distracted by every single novel or writing book I’ve ever loved. These six books are down inside my psyche. I don’t even need to reread them for the choice to help me. I keep the titles on an index card as Sellers suggests.
Recently I reread one of my three novel wise guides, SAINT MAYBE by Anne Tyler. I enjoyed the heck out of it as I do every time I read it. Writing while reading also went well. I was able to let the structure of that novel inform the structure of my novel. I was able to more deeply understand the flaw and need of the main character. I was able to see all the elements of the novel without losing the joy of reading it. I was able to pick and choose which parts were good models for my novel and which parts were not. Clarity of purpose. That’s what that little “Wise Guides” chapter helped me do. I know what I want to write and I know how to proceed.
Thanks, Heather Sellers, for writing CHAPTER AFTER CHAPTER.