November 10, 2008

Book Envy

Happy Monday! Hope you get a jump on some good things this week.

Mondays are usually nonfiction day elsewhere in the blogosphere, but I spotted a couple of great sounding fictional pieces out today -- first, Becker reviews The Saints of Augustine at GuysLitWire. An intense book about secrets, honesty, and friendship with two guys in trouble -- sounds really, really good.

Next, Colleen's got an excellent round-up of graphic novels at Bookslut in Training, which include the very intriguing sounding Skim, and Token, both coming-of-age novels focusing on girls, Holly Black's The Good Neighbors: Kin, which is another happy scary-fairy tale, and a nonfiction from DK Publishing called One Million Things: A Visual Encyclopedia, which sounds like a Christmas gift to me.

Speaking of Holly Black, Reading Rants! Out of the Ordinary Teen Reads reviews Geektastic! Stories from the Nerd Herd edited by Black Holly herself and Cecil Castellucci. This book sounds fabulous and includes geeky stories from Holly, Cecil, and the usual suspects, including Scott Westerfeld, John Green, M.T. Anderson and Sara Zarr. The sad news: August 2009 is the release date for this. Yes. I feel your pain. ::suffers::

It's NaNo Month, which means our writing group is experiencing new and interesting fiction. (Go, S&K! Whoo!) Via Original Content, a great writing idea NaNo writers might try -- writing the story backwards, from the ending.

I wish this would work for me, but a.) do I actually ever know how a story will end? Um, no. And b.) I'd have to rewrite it anyway, because my characters generally change too much from the beginning of the novel 'til the end. While this is good, in character driven fiction, it's annoying for any kind of outlining/pre-writing purposes... would that work for any of you?


C. K. Kelly Martin said...

"I'd have to rewrite it anyway, because my characters generally change too much from the beginning of the novel 'til the end."

I feel exactly the same way. Not to mention the fact that I edit as I go (can't get past a paragraph if I don't think it's doing exactly what I think it should be) so at the end of the month I think I'd have about 29 pages, if I was lucky. Alas NaNo and I are incompatible.

I loved Skim - so nice to see it getting the publicity it deserves. Emiko and Token sound like they're right up my alley!

tanita✿davis said...

Oohhh, good. Someone else writes like I do!!! It drives people crazy to read a WIP of mine because it... well, it progresses, but it goes two steps forward, and a step back... constantly editing. I tried NaNo: ONCE. It was an utter disaster, and I hated it thoroughly. Thanks, Caro, you make me feel so normal...

Tricia said...

Can I just say how much I admire the NaNo participants? I wrote a post a day for National Poetry Month and it just about killed me. I can't imagine writing a novel!

tanita✿davis said...

**YES!** I admire NaNo people too. I think the word is "envy."

Sarah Stevenson said...

Hooray for the Nerd Herd, and for anyone who's ever been part of a Nerd Herd (who, me? naaaah.).

I don't think I'd be able to write backwards from the end, either. I often don't know what's going to happen at the end until at least a third of the way through...even if I think I know, it changes substantially as the characters change.

I think it's because I haven't gotten to know my characters (uh...or my plot) enough until I've reached a certain point in the writing process--a point that I can only get to by writing the story and not by outlining.

Colleen said...

One Million Things is the best holiday gift idea ever! I've been reading a few pages a night to my 7 year old son and he loves it! (I'm simplifying some of the topics, obviously.) Curious 12 year olds will consume this thing; it is just gorgeous.

I'm trying to get a nonfic feature together for next month at Bookslut - more "books for curious minds" for MG - YA age. I would have loved these kinds of books when I was 13.

As for writing - I'm still figuring out the order of the chapters for my AK flying novel...I guess that basically means that the ending is ever changing, eh?

Anonymous said...

I say this with love in my heart, but it was kind of wrong of you to tell us about Geektastic when we cannot read it for ALMOST A YEAR. Not that I don't have a big ol' pile of books on my dining room table just waiting to be read, but it's the principle of the thing. Now I want to read Geektastic MORE than those other books.

Anonymous said...

I am a NaNo lover. We are soul mates.

It was by no means intentional, but I am currently writing backward from the middle. (Or "muddle" based on my new "Beginning, Muddle, and End" NaNo theory.) I've never done that before. They say you should start your story in the middle, right?

I'm eager to get my hands on Geektastic.

tanita✿davis said...

(Adrienne: What?! You thought I could keep something called Geektastic a secret!?!? If it helps, I'm suffering too!)

Oh, man. "Beginning, muddle and end" sounds WAY TOO MUCH LIKE REALITY. *sigh*