Friday, September 29, 2006

Back to Writing

Now that the National Holiday is over (that link is for those of you still clicking over from Backstreets for my interview with Chris Phillips), I'm back to work on my novel. As with past celebrations, the National Holiday motivated me this year, and I've been cranking out between 1,200 and 1,500 words per day for most of this week. I was at a big logjam, but (to mix my metaphors) I've busted the clot and the words are flowing freely again.

I've always looked to writers like Bruce Springsteen, Kris Kristofferson and Johnny Cash for inspiration. Their best songs are also terrific stories, told sparely.

That's good fiction writing in a nutshell. A great novel is not about how many words you take to tell the story. It's about how much story you can cram into as few words as possible. The late, great Nick Alicino taught me that years ago, but he used Springsteen songs to prove his point.

More on that some other time.


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