8.09.2008

Reading List

... Haven't done one of these in a long time. Haven't done much reading, and not because I don't have the time — it's just that I haven't finished writing the post for the last reading that I did. Sitting on my desktop is a half-finished post about a bunch of comics I read about a month ago.

Just need to look through them and get all the names — and that's where I'm getting lazy... I have so much stuff I want to read, and really, how hard is it to pick up a damn 22 page comic and take 15 minutes to read it? But, I can't start anything else until I'm done, and I won't be done until I've written about it.

In the meantime, I just had to pick up this book...

How Fiction Works, James Wood
Didn't get the chance to finish reading this one — borrowed it from work, and I only got two weeks with it... Just came out, and I saw a review of it in "Time" and "Newsweek" and goddamn if it isn't a fascinating book. And it's not because this book tells you how to write.

Wood takes a look at works of fiction and analyses them — not really telling you how the author did what he did, but shows you how, because of what he did, it works. Showing you that if it was written another way — just one word different — it would totally change and ruin it.

As a writer, this sort of stuff is what I think about. I obsess about the small things like that when writing fiction. Because anybody can tell a story — anybody can tell the story you want to tell. But it is up to you to tell it in a way that makes it yours. That is what makes you a Writer, and not just a Storyteller...

I wish I had more time with this book, and I am going to HAVE to buy it when it comes out in paperback... I so want to get deeper into what Wood has to say, because I think that any writer who has thought about what makes their style work or not work, needs to take a look at this book so that it can help them to turn a critical eye toward their own work. Because while you may not know why you write the way you do, it'll help give you the confidence to feel like you're on the right path.

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