Current Release

Current Release
The Warrior's Viking Bride

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ian Fleming and Simenon on writing

Because the programme on Ian Fleming intrigued me ( and I am in the final stages of edits for this Victorian), I went in search of his 1964 article on thriller writing. What I also found was an account of when he visited the great French writer --Simenon who wrote the Maigret books. And I do agree with Fleming that Maigret reads much better in the original. I went through a Maigret phase in my senior year of high school...
Although I doubt I could ever incorporate their methods into my way of writing, it makes for interesting reading. Both men enjoyed writing short books and I thought it was interesting that Ian Fleming was the person who invented/popularised the modern technique of anchoring -- namely giving product placement or real details so that the fantastical seems to be real and the reader is able suspend disbelief more readily.

Blake Snyder has an excellent post about five questions to help you determine your spine. The spine in a romance btw -- is the growth of the emotional relationship between the two protagonists. It is not the individual growth. If you focus on individual growth, you (or rather I) lose the focus which must be the relationship...

My goal for today is to finish putting the edits on. I did a 156 pages yesterday and have 156 pages to do today.


India said...

I haven't written the ending to mine yet, but I'm doing edits of the rest of it first. I always think I'm going to like editing-- tidying up all the stray little bits of information, cutting out the dead wood and polishing the images-- but actually I hate it. For me it's always the time when the crows come in to roost...

Hope you're getting on well with yours. 156 pages in a day is quite some going!


Anonymous said...

Hi Michelle - many thanks for the tip to the programme about Ian Fleming which I caught up with on I-Player and thoroughly enjoyed.

You make an interesting point about the spine of a romance being the emotional journey of the RELATIONSHIP between hero and heroine and not their individual character arcs. I tend to focus on the heroine who has the most to loose/grow, then the hero, and use the arc to create the Emotional Structure of the story.

Mega impressed at your edit rate.

Michelle Styles said...

I should say that the edits are all on paper and it is a matter of transcribing and thinking a bit as I am doing that.

Ray-Anne -- There is no right or wrong way to do it, but ultimately a romance will stand or fall on the strength of the emotional journey that the couple make. If your focus becomes either one's own emotional growth arc, you stand a chance of losing focus on the relationship. Women'sfiction on the other hand is far more about the emotional growth of a single person, in the case of intertwined stories, the growth of several
Thinking about the spine in this fashion works for me.

Donna Alward said...

Hmmm. See I can't think of it this way because it feels limiting. I think of it as individual arcs of growth that must happen, and intertwine so that they are both ready and able to be together in the end. I think as I'm writing I'm always thinking how the individual arc affects the relationship, and so the relationship arc is created from the individual...and I bet this is going to come out sounding very convoluted!