I’ve become entranced with the lists of 10 lately (worked for Letterman, didn’t it?) and I have some plans for my own future lists, but on this busy day, here is a great list that I’ll guide you to: “Ten Thoughts about Writing a Novel” by the writer Lee Martin. I like every item on his list, but I’m especially intrigued by number 2 and number 9:
2. Sometimes I read through a draft and identify the single piece of information in each chapter that contributes to some sort of shift in the plot. That’s my way of making myself aware of why each chapter exists. No important information for the plot? Hmm. . .maybe that’s a chapter I just don’t need. So much of revising a novel is a matter of making it lean. 9. At some point, I need to know what’s at stake for me in the writing of the book, not just what’s at stake for me as a writer, but also what’s at stake for me as a person. The two identities are never very far apart.
Eight more as good as those two here!