Jimmy Guterman's blog

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Archive for the ‘novel’ Category

A sentence reporting on a sartorial challenge

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The tie they decided on was so wide it might as well have been a bib.

(What are these sentences?)

Written by guterman

May 28, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Posted in novel, writing

The sentences return (again)

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You can’t see how tired she is until you get real close.

(What are these sentences?)

Written by guterman

November 5, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Posted in novel

Taking a quick break from writing fiction to writing about writing fiction

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First, some words from two of my favorite Russian writers:

“Everything I am writing at present bores me and leaves me indifferent, but everything that is still only in my head interests me, moves me, and excites me.”

— Anton Chekhov

“I think like a genius, I write like a distinguished author, and I speak like a child. “

— Vladimir Nabokov

Several times a day, I get an idea. I think it’s good. I write it down. I read it. It isn’t good. I work at it for a while and sometimes it gets good (or, at least, good enough). But it’s never as good as it was in my head. I can’t just connect a cluster of cords from my brain to my readers, Navi-style, so I have to keep writing until I get closer to what I first heard in my head. Will I get there? Probably not. Will I get close if I try hard? I’d better.

Written by guterman

January 22, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Posted in novel, writing

Yet another example of one of my kids being my role model (fiction-writing version)

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This year I’m going to finish the novel. Really. I’m hoping that announcing it will make it more likely that I’ll do it. We’ll see.

One person not having any trouble getting her writing going is Grace Guterman, age nine. On New Year’s Eve, out of nowhere, Grace decided to use her whiteboard to show us how to write a novel.

First, as you see in the picture, you have to pick a genre. She went with fantasy. Then you have to figure out who the characters are. She likes to start with pairs of characters, such as a boy and a girl, a horse and a cat, or a doll and a teddy bear. She considered many combinations, decided on a boy and a doll, and started writing.

A second draft comes next, followed by the final one. “I usually write two ‘draphts’ and then go on to the real thing,” she advises. Although she started with a boy and a doll, she switchd to a boy and a horse. Her premise: “The boy was a prince and the horse had diabetes.” The story had medical complications and a trick (O. Henry-ish) ending. Did I mention that Grace is nine?

She’s also writing another novel, apparently, about the three most important things in life:

Written by guterman

January 4, 2010 at 11:29 am

Posted in family, novel, writing

Last sentence of the year

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He sure wasn’t playing arenas now.

(What are these sentences?)

Have a great break, all. I’ll be back here after Jan. 4. If I have enough stamina, willpower, and luck, it’ll be the last year I have to inflict these novel-in-progress sentences on you.

Written by guterman

December 28, 2009 at 10:55 am

Posted in novel

Return of the Sentences

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For a long time, Neal used to wash Lenore’s Mercury Monarch every Saturday afternoon.

(What are these sentences?)

Written by guterman

December 14, 2009 at 11:03 pm

Posted in novel

A November without social media

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A writing pal and I are going on a blinders-on fiction sprint in November, so I won’t be blogging or tweeting or Facebooking (?) or anything that month. (I will continue blogging and tweeting and Facebooking (?) for work, though, for the obvious reason.) Email responses will be slower than usual, too.

Seeya December 1. I’ll tell you how it went.

Written by guterman

October 29, 2009 at 8:59 am

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