Friday, 28 November 2014

Cephalopod Book Club & Goals :: NOV

Geeez, the days are flying by! It's almost December. Yikes!

I know you guys are celebrating Thanksgiving over there in the U.S., so maybe not as many people will be participating in these blog hops this month. But I'm posting anyway just 'cause it's a compulsion I generally don't ignore. ;)

So here we go ... !




I'd known for years that I should read this book, but only just got around to it this year. The first section was about Stephen King's life growing up, and his early development as a writer. A great read. When I got to the "on writing" section, I read a lot of things that I felt I already knew. Much of it seemed to be stuff I was already doing with my own writing. But later I got to sections that surprised me.

First off, I was shocked to learn Stephen King is a pantser, usually writing without a plan even if he has some general idea of where he's going. He doesn't necessarily know how his story will end when he starts it - in fact, he usually doesn't. A lot of people talk about the importance of having your plot all dot-pointed out. But Stephen King says this leads to certain doom, in the form of a stiff, boring story.

Obviously that's just his opinion, and many authors who rely heavily on plotting are still able to come up with great, gripping stories. But King's words really impacted with me, because I could relate to them. I distinctly remember becoming bored with my own story when I'd overplotted before starting.

Another section of ON WRITING that fascinated me was about editing. This section made me realise maybe I've been doing it wrong. I generally like to get stuck right into edits, but SK always reads through his entire manuscript before editing. I know I've done this before, and it worked quite well - but I stopped, for some reason. I'm considering starting again.

The book finishes up with a recount of the horrific accident that nearly took SK's life in 1999. And finally, he includes an excerpt of a rough draft, totally unedited, and ends with an edited copy. I found the comparison very useful, as I could see his wordiness needing to be whittled down, and this really reminded me of my own problems - my stories usually start out bloated before I get to trimming.

All in all, a fascinating read, and inspiring as well.




Reading

First off, I reached my annual reading goal:


2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Trisha has completed her goal of reading 40 books in 2014!
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So that's one goal done & dusted for 2014!

Writing

Secondly, I am still working on reaching my NaNo goal, but wouldn't be surprised if I got to 50k tonight. But if I take it super easy, I will get there tomorrow, still a day ahead of November's end.

As mentioned, this has been a very slow NaNo year for me, but it's been necessary to not go at my usual breakneck speed.

Music

I should mention that my bandmate Billy is releasing his debut album, THE FALLING SOUND, under the artist name Rotting Apples (inspired by the song "Rotten Apples" by our favourite band the Smashing Pumpkins).

I sing vocals on most of the songs. I've already got my copies and have been distributing them to friends & family.

In General

It's getting to that time of year when we look back & reflect on what we've achieved since setting our goals. I think I may be disappointed when I get around to doing that, but I'll focus on the good things.

22 comments:

  1. Stephen King has always been one of my biggest inspirations and I love reading what he has to say on writing.

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    1. Indeed, he's a great inspiration in many different ways! :)

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  2. Stephen King has has a lot of success with his writing so if you can take what applies to you and the way you write then it should be very helpful. Good luck with the debut album!

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    1. I agree with taking some bits that apply, and maybe leaving the rest. I think we all learn lessons in writing from lots of different sources. :)

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  3. Congratulations on your iminent NaNo success! You've done way better than me!

    Angeline

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    1. Thank you Angeline :) But I'm sure you got something achieved, and that's what counts.

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  4. As a fan of King's I had to read this. My biggest memory is wishing I'd been like King and started banging out submissions when I was still a kid.

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    1. Yeah, he made me kick myself too over not being so proactive. ;)

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  5. You rocked November, girl! Well done. :-)

    The thing with goals that I want you to keep in mind for December is that the only person capable of flogging you for not achieving the goal is you. Sometimes, things don't work out. Sometimes, life really sucks and makes getting to goals really impossible. Those times, you just need to be forgiving and remember that you're human. Then you set the same goals for next year and get going again. You'll be surprised at how much closer to the goal you'll be. :-)

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    1. So true, Misha! And I sure have been flogging myself for my 'failures' this year. haha. But I am going to try and be glad I at least achieved something.

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  6. Hi Trisha - loved reading your 'review' of Stephen King's 'On Writing' .. and the 'takes' you were able to take away from it ... reading one's work is essential isn't it.

    Well done on Reading, Nano and then your music - that's great news - you've had such a successful year .. lots of accomplishments - no regrets I'd say ... lots of good ends to celebrate - cheers Hilary

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    1. Thanks, Hilary - I am certainly looking forward to a holiday at year's end! :)

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  7. I enjoyed On Writing very much when I read it 10 years or so ago. I am not much of a Stephen King reader but I found his whole process interesting and he was inspiring. I listened to the CD book so I didn't get a look at the book he was editing- that would be interesting!

    I need to get back to blogging but I have been soooo busy doing facebook social networking for my library that I don't have as much energy to do social networking for myself. BOOO! I am not sure how to fix that.

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    1. I haven't read many of his books either, though I've read (and loved) THE STAND as well as his DARK TOWER series. But then I've never minded 'scary' stories - love Dean Koontz as well.

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  8. That's two SK books at the Coffeehouse this month. Jennifer shared Joyland.

    Congrats on meeting your reading goal!

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    1. Thanks you. :) I have to get caught up on all the other book club posts!

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  9. First December 2014
    Dear Trisha,
    I agree. King's book is inspiring. I've read it twice.
    But so are you.
    Congratulations for winning NaNo!
    Best wishes,
    Anna

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    1. Thank you Anna!

      I think SK is a pretty amazing person. What an imagination he has!

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  10. King's book is awesome. I've admired him for decades! Congratulations on meeting your goal. Woot! Have a terrific week. :)

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    1. It was a great read. I haven't read most of his work but am slowly getting through the list ... picking up one book or the other now & then.

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Thanks for your words, me hearties! and don't forget to leave a link to your blog somewhere I can find it!