Monday, October 13, 2008

Comics? Mockups?

I recently finished reading (accurately, listening to the audio book of...) Karen Joy Fowler's novel WIT'S END. One of the characters, a novelist, always creates a dollhouse of each book. It certainly might be a useful method for anyone writing a book or play to create a physical mockup of their main locales. (For that matter, part of the book's charm is the way it evokes Santa Cruz, California.)

At Foolscap, I found a business card for the "weekly web comic" Comics are another way to tell a story. (And don't miss an old but fabulous book Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud (originally McLeod) -- see publisher's website.

-- Rachel Holmen

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Story within a story -- forget it

Sometimes when I would read manuscripts at MZB's Fantasy Magazine, I would find myself drawing a pencilled arrow at the start of some paragraph, often 3 pages into the story. "Story starts here," I would add. Sometimes all that nice backstory you've worked so hard on, just doesn't belong at the beginning. Start by grabbing your reader's attention. Rarely does the "story within a story" format add anything -- only if one story really DOES illuminate the other should this format be kept.

-- Rachel Holmen