Sunday, December 4, 2011

The National Book Awards, a parting shot...then back to writing

Okay, you say, enough already on the National Book Awards. Let us move on, shall we? And yes, I am deeply into a new project. But I wanted to share this picture of me with one of the NBA judges, a writer I admire, Nikki Grimes.

And speaking of new projects, which I will do later, check out  Justine Larbalestier's post about Writing Liar with Scrivener:
"In the acknowledgements of Liar I wrote the following: “Without Scrivener this book would most likely not exist.” Ever since people have been asking me to please explain. Here, at long last, is my explanation."
Interesting. I use Scrivener, too. It's a writing program that gives me some freedom to play with new writing, to practice what writer Alison McGhee once referred to as the lego block technique  of drafting--you move pieces of writing around until you find what works where. Working with bits of a book is like working with colors on your palate. Which color adds depth or clarity to the whole when paired with another? Which is needed here? And here?

It's also like working with building blocks: which block of story needs a bit more support? What if I add this block, here?

Of course, a lot of it is intuition. With Scrivener,  I can follow a more intuitive process. I can say, Why Qilaa needs to do something here. Maybe she needs to do something with that rock she found on the beach...  So I label a section on Scrivener Qila and the Rock and there it sits until one day it hits me, no pun intended, and I know  what she's going to do with that rock. So I write it.

Writing a first draft is not at all a linear process for me. How about you?

Okay, here's the photo, courtesy of my daughter Aaluk. I like it.

Nikki posted a wonderful NBA reflection on her blog. Her book Bronx Mascarade was a book I studied when I decided to make My Name is Not Easy a multi-voiced telling.


  1. I don't see a tiara :o)) But do hope you got to savor the rah-rahs. And I may have to look into that Scrivener, i do leave lots of holes on the first go around. And have yet to gather everything back up into a sensible whole (as it were!). Do you get a commission :o))


  2. No, no commission. :( And the way I use it is so basic that I would make a pretty pathetic poster girl, actually. But I like the way it lets me play with sequencing and I like that I can see holes more easily and put in little markers for potential scenes without having to over think it. Which also gives me something to do when I am stuck.

    No, let's not go there....

    Jennie! How are you?