Thursday, November 3, 2011

Snacks for the Road
(2011 NaNoWriMo)

Part of the experience of NaNoWriMo 2009 including having a book at my side, to keep me company and generally feed my mind. Two years ago that book was Elmore Leonard's Out of Sight, probably my favorite Leonard book. In the process of reading, my mind would see something he did--how he handled a certain aspect of a scene or dialogue--and then it went about the task of working similar magic in my own project. The end result was always mine, of course. I never plagiarized his work. I simply used his writing as one of many tools to springboard my own ideas into something that could be used to make a splash.

This time around, I have decided to read Stephen King's The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. While some readers hate his work, others, like me, love him. He usually has a great writing style, and what I love most about King is his ability to take the reader deeper into the character--through voice, dialogue, and flashbacks--without taking the reader off course in the process. So far, reading this small novel has given me plenty of food for thought. Again, the end result will be mine, written in my voice and style, but reading a novel is already helping me to ask the questions I need in order to make my 2011 NaNoWriMo project better.

How about you? Do you usually take some reading brain food along on the journey? If so, who and what are you reading (or snacking on) this year?

Until next time...


  1. I am entirely in line with you about King's power of voice, insight and characterization. He's one of my favorite writers alive. Enjoy Tom Gordon - it's quite good for all those traits.

  2. Tom Gordon is good. I read some of the comments from readers who said it was slow and boring, but I think that said more about the readers than King's writing. Readers of literary fiction, of which this is a similar form, understand that the joy is in the journey of discovery.

  3. Do you know I've never read any Stephen King, perhaps I should. Good luck with Nano - cheering you on!

  4. Helen: You should give him a try. If you're looking for non-horror, I'd recommend The Body. If you're looking for a good horror novel, my personal favorite is The Dark Half. Others might tell you The Stand, and I would agree that it's a great book, but for a first-time reader the size of The Stand an be a little intimidating.