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~ Kathy M.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Bookish thoughts ...

There are a lot of people who write books, obviously, and a lot more who want to write them but do not know how.  Like me.  I am pretty sure that I can write a non-fiction book, and I have one very clearly in mind for that.  As soon as I pay for Word 2007 (which I'd better get on since my free trial expires in 5 days), I can begin working on that one.  It will kind of be like a school project, and I can do those and get A's.  In fact, I loved writing papers in college, and I took lots of writing classes: 121, 122, 123, grant writing and technical writing.  I love doing research.  I am only lacking in the creative writing area.

I am not as excited about writing the book above, though, as I am at the thought of writing a historical novel that was inspired by my blog post about the camp and the camp house.  It just came to me, like nothing has before.  I have a plot, several characters, a setting, and it is living history sort of thing in an actual location that can be researched.  I see it being written as a Jane Kirkpatrick sort of book.  But, how do I start?  And, how do I make it quality and something that others would want to read?  How do I make the dialogue realistic and not sappy? 

The day before yesterday I had finished reading a good book, (Amy Tan's The Bonesetter's Daughter) and went to our little "library/den/playroom" and noticed a book that I had gotten some time ago at a used book sale for .50:  The Art & Craft of Novel Writing by Oakley Hall.  Just what the doctor ordered (or God had planned).

I began reading it, and it is like going to college again, since Oakley Hall is a college professor who teaches writing, or at least he did in 1989 when this book was written.  In the 10 pages I have read so far, I have learned that I have so much to learn!  But that is okay.  I am not on a time line and am rather excited about this whole thing.  

Mr. Hall begins his teachings with "render, present and dramatize".  I didn't even know what render meant before yesterday.  The definition given in the book is "To put into a state.  To cause to be or become.  To put into artistic or verbal form.  To depict or express (never merely pointing, naming, summarizing). To give an interpretation, translation, visualization of."  

Well, what a lot to think about.  I have been pondering rendering ever since!

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