Open Thread

This Open Thread Wants To Write A Book

I’m home. The sun is shining, and it’s all good, but after the greatest summer in my hometown, I feel I need a lot more time to properly arrive. I’m still coming to terms with all the memories that hit me around the head at every street corner. Suddenly, it seems impossibly hard to make your home elsewhere.

I have an urge to write about it. It will be a big, fat novel that makes me and everyone else see clearly. I will be rich and famous. The End.

What would you like to write about this week?

By Karo

Schnazzy East German translator and cricket obsessive residing in England. I have other qualities, too.

13 replies on “This Open Thread Wants To Write A Book”

You have to become comfortable with the idea that EVERYONE’S first drafts suck, and a large percentage of second drafts do too. You go into it thinking about how you just want to get the bones of something down on the page, while recognizing that it’s all up for change later.

I didn’t get to work a whole lot on the novel I’m currently writing today, but I’ve set aside tomorrow and Thursday to really work on it.

Also, since this is a historical mystery, the material isn’t so overwhelming right now because I’ve now discovered source cards! And my bio on Edith Wharton came today, so yay!

From the blog:

Source cards are my method of organizing research. I started it in college and it saved my life while dissertating and during law school.

I use source cards throughout the research process, but they are most helpful at the beginning—when you have a folder full of articles, a stack of books, a slew of bookmarks/ downloads/ citations, etc.

The goal is to get a grasp of what resources I have, so I can create a reading list and identify any areas where I need to do further research.

I take a stack of index cards. Each card has a snapshot of the source. One source per card. On the front—title and author. On the back:

source type (book, article, etc)
source topic(s)
what to read (just one chapter, multiple chapters to skim, read the whole thing)
I do one pass through all my sources. Fast. Spending a maximum of 2-3 minutes flipping through each source and writing the card. Then I sort. I put the cards in stacks based on topic or priority—sorting from most general sources to look at first, to the most detailed/ specific/ limited use to read later.

Then I create a reading list. But I still keep the cards—they’re helpful for organizing my writing and citations. I create new cards as I come across new sources in my reading.

Also, this was supposed to be in reply to Sarah Habien, but for some reason it didn’t position correctly…

I’m totally on this kick now where I’m kind to myself if I don’t finish my to-do list. Today, I went to campus, made myself familiar with the library, got some class readings finished, took a campus tour, and tracked down some important documents. I didn’t open up an new bank account, call my insurance company or do my nails, all of which were on my list. Instead of kicking myself, I’m trying to say, “Good job for all you accomplished!”

So good job for finishing your article!

I’d like to write about that whole Miley Cyrus thing. I didn’t see the actual performance, but when I checked my tumblr/FB this morning it was all, “What in the heck?” The arguments went a few ways, with most people noting that the whole thing was just bad and appear unrehearsed. The rest complained about Cyrus acting all sexy like (which bugs me because slut-shaming) and worries over the appropriation of twerking. I, for one, am not really that upset at Cyrus. For one thing, the poor thing has to go from Disney Princess to Pop…something, and the only path the music industry really gives her is sex-kitten. As for the twerking, I suppose that just needs a heavy sigh.

I was with my friends who wanted to watch the VMA’s and ended up having to watch that. It was kind of disturbing. While Miley of course can act however she wants, and you’re right, she isn’t offered much recourse for Disney doll to Pop whatever, I feel bad for her. Which I shouldn’t, because she seems to be really happy doing what she’s doing, but if she ever decides that what she was the opposite of what she thinks of it now, she’ll never get away from it. I feel for her more because everything she does is in the spotlight and will be on the internet forever and nobody will ever forget. Basically, poor celebrities.

I would love to be caught up on my book reviews — that’s the practical wish.

2nd practical wish is that I be caught up on the final-ish draft of The Novel, which you’re (as in Karo) familiar with.

3rd wish is that I finally start writing a new novel.

But hey! At least I wrote my column for tomorrow, so that’s something.

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