Friday, February 19, 2010

Sorting Out Tangles or Stuck on Knots?

16. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

17. Leap Day by Wendy Mass

18. The Mealworm Diaries by Anna Kerz

When I read a good book, the story flows seamlessly, without any hint of whether the writer struggled, as I often do, with how much to put into the story. If I start off with a simple idea, it doesn't seem like enough to sustain a whole story. But if I try to put in a couple more ideas or another level of depth, especially at the beginning, the story quickly grows into a challenging mess of loose ends and tangled threads. In Leap Day, these other threads were expanded on in chapters between the main POV of the reader, telling bits of what happened from the points of view of other characters. An interesting approach.

In my current work-in-progress, I have more characters than I usually do, and that adds complexity during the writing process. Part of my excitement with writing is sorting out the tangled threads and figuring out how to make them all fit together into something smooth and interesting. But when you're right in the middle, it sometimes seems that all you have is knots.

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