The past few days have been quite translating- and radio-oriented, so I haven't been writing outside of work, but I did have time to see an interview with John Grisham. I've read a couple of his books, which were okay, but the bottom line is that he makes a ton of money from his writing, so he's obviously doing something right!
I didn't watch the whole interview, just the part where he talks about writing ("chapter 5"), and he said what a lot of people say: make an outline. But for some reason, even though I've heard that advice many times before (usually from blockbuster authors who create thrillers, mysteries, etc.), his emphasis was pretty convincing.
I think I haven't followed that advice because I'm not writing a thriller or anything like that, though I'm definitely not writing "literary" fiction, but I will probably create an outline because it makes sense.
When Grisham was working on his first book with an editor, he had to get rid of hundreds of pages and change the rest (which made me wonder how he got a publisher in the first place, and how it's "unfair" that he didn't write stellar stuff and still got into the Publishing Industrial Complex), which convinced him that an outline would reduce the amount of throw-away material.
So I've been reading about how three-act stories break down, and I feel more sane. I've written complete drafts, but I always have to go back and fix a lot of it or get rid of it altogether. I'm still tempted to write whatever and meander down a path, but I think structure will help keep me on track and finish something that might see the light of day one century.
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