Ever edited a large work and wondered how to organize the chapters? This piece by Jonathan Russell Clark in The Millions gives some great insight. The way we authors set up our chapters and sections of our books makes the reading a lot easier for everyone who isn’t us and hasn’t spent time with the story for years. That’s the gist of this piece, and it’s inspiring for those of us embarking on a novel revision. Organizing chapters in a certain way could give the book exactly what it needs to make it a compelling read.
You can read Michael Bourne’s intelligent assessment here, along with all the comments.
Nice piece by Bill Morris at The Millions about writers who’ve declared their retirements, stopped writing, then sort of kept writing, or really kept writing. I often think about not writing. Usually I tend to take weekends off, but even then, I sneak in a few words. Or I’m thinking about characters, so I’m writing mentally, I guess. I’ve been forced not to write by circumstance a few times, and I think it’s almost like withdrawal from a drug. A numbness takes over, and everything feels dead to me. When I come back to it, the lights seem to go back on, if that makes sense.
I would add Henry Miller to Morris’ list. He supposedly retired as age crept in to focus on painting.
Nice essay today over at The Millions by Kevin Hartnett about writing things longhand, and the smoother thought-process it creates.