OK, so Professor Tufte is writing about the graphical display of information, such as in a chart or graph or a drawing of some sort intended to display (drum roll) information. Isn't that what a novel is? Words are data. If you can do what Professor Tufte has so compellingly suggested, you can write a novel that gets published.
But that's not easy!
If it were easy, getting published would be no big deal.
Got any Examples?
Got any Advice?
A writer must be absolutely ruthless. Ruthless in editing. Ruthless in discipline. Most of all, a writer must unwaveringly believe that readers are not stupid just because they happen to read romances.
- You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. - Jack London
Here's what I have in the front of the binder I use to hold my MS when I'm working on hard copy:
- It's the story, stupid. Perfect writing is not enough.
- If you're bored, they're bored.
- A chapter that doesn't advance the romance should be cut.
- Prose longer than 2-3 paragraphs should be rewritten to contain dialogue and action.
- Words are chameleons, which reflect the colour of their environment. - Learned Hand, jurist (1872-1961)
I want to be a Writer. How?
Do it. Practice it. Read it. Edit Edit Edit Edit Edit. Did I say Edit? You better do that, too.
Find your working style and stick to it. Here's what works:
- Start at the beginning and keep going until you get to the end.
- Start in the middle and work forward and backward until you're done.
- Start at the end and work backward until you're done.
- Start wherever you want and keeping going until you're done.
- Outline everything in exquisite detail and then write the book according to any of the above methods.
This can be summarized as: Start Writing and Don't Stop Until You're Done.
But how can I tell when I'm done?
Personally, when I finish reading a book (romance or otherwise) I do one of two things: Put the book away so I can read it again later or toss it in the garbage because one of these days I'm going to kill myself tripping over all the books I have around here. If you don't want to read your story again after you've finished reading it start-to-finish, you're probably not done.
Are there any good resources for writers?
Check out my resources page to get a start.
How can I thank you, Carolyn, for all this great advice?
Send me an e-mail. Oh, and buy my books, too. I'd like to quit the day job.