Tag Archives: Jog Fatboy Jog

Go ahead, grab a pen. Or a mouse. But turn off the internet!

So it’s the start of a long weekend and I had planned to devote this afternoon to the mystery novel I am currently working on.  I turned off the work computer at 12:30.  It’s 2:20.  In the meantime, I have eaten lunch, walked the dogs, and got sucked into the blogs I follow.  (What are you up to, Jog Fatboy, Jog?)

One of these is a blog called Grab a Pen.  The blogger is a 22-year old girl (her word) who writes YA novels – Tahera Mafi.  And she’s a hoot.  Today’s post is about how to write a novel. There are just 100 easy steps!  And 1-23 are all preparation.   I liked “buy yourself a new laptop because obviously you deserve it,” because that’s what I did when I first started writing.  No single character appeared on a page until I had my first iMac.  Also “hope nobody notices the protagonist is really you.”  Ha!  Check it out.

On the opposite side of the blogosphere, Roger Ebert has a big write-up in today’s New York Times.  (Warning: the photo will break your heart.)  One of my favorite guys ever for his movie reviews, Roger has been challenged by cancer, can no longer speak or eat.  So naturally he is doing an interview for his new cookbook.  The cookbook sounds like something I could actually use – how to make everything and anything in a rice cooker.  (Note to self- buy rice cooker. Buy cookbook.)

The article mentions Ebert’s blog, which I did not know existed, and of course I had to spend some time checking it out.  Glad to see his voice is still strong!  As it is now 2:38, I will close and QUIT PROCRASTINATING…

Analyze your writing!

On his blog, Drew passed along news of an interesting web site that he heard about from his friend, Lisa.  On this site, you paste in your own writing, be it fiction, nonfiction, a blog post, whatever!  It runs your text ever-so-speedily through a magical analytical process, and out pops what famous writer you write like.

This is fascinating of course, because it is just like examining your navel except that someone is doing it with you and giving you compliments while doing so.

So I entered the last chapter of my first mystery, Character-Driven.  Ta Da!  I write like Stephen King.  Not bad.  Millions of readers.  Millions of dollars.  I was going for Janet Evanovich, but I’ll take Steve.

Feverish, I enter the first chapter of my new book, In Scene.  Amazing!  I write like David Foster Wallace.  True, he’s dead, but everyone agrees he’s a genius.

But what about my blog?  I paste in the post about how nobody’s commenting on my blog.  That, evidently, is William Gibson.  William Gibson.  Doesn’t he write kind of science-fictiony-suspensy-stuff?  How can I write like him?  I don’t even read him.

I try again.  I paste in the post about going to Selected Shorts in New York City and how star-struck I was to meet Isaiah Sheffer. Yep.  William Gibson again.

In a fit of circularity, I am about to paste THIS VERY BLOG POST in.  Wait for it.

Very good.  It’s Arthur C. Clarke.  Him I know.  I was addicted to Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov and even moreso, Robert Heinlein, as a teenager.  Perhaps I should be writing sci-fi.

So then I get tricky.  I find William Gibson’s website.  I click on a link that lets me read an excerpt of  his book Pattern Recognition.*  Who will it say William Gibson writes like?  William Gibson?

Nope.  David Foster Wallace.

My brain is starting to hurt.

*I know, I just realized that this is very spooky – the mystery algorithm picks William Gibson for me and I grab the first excerpt that pops up and the book is Pattern Recognition.  Exactly what the I Write Like website is all about.