I told my 1010 students that I was going to try to watch a whole season of "American Idol" because I never had before, and I feel like I'm missing out on an important aspect of American culture. So I watched the first show, but it turns out I missed an episode last night, so I'm not doing too well on that score.
But I am writing. Middlebrow and I are trying to write two pages a day and so far (since last Thursday) I'm doing pretty well. I've started a few new essays with my creative writing class and I've written a few pages on "the novel."
I was looking through The English Patient last night because I assigned my students to bring in five epigraphs from different sources. I love this novel and I was looking for epigraphs from sections that I remember loving when I read it. Looking through it I realized that even though it has a coherent narrative, it's not told in a coherent, continuous stream (something I'm having trouble with). And he has many short lyric sections (which I have no problem writing, it's getting them to cohere with the other short sections that stalls me). So I took some inspiration from his structure. Also reading Calvino with my creative writing class. His stories aren't really about anything. I think he just chooses a structure and lets that contain his writing. So two good lessons for me. Also, last year I heard that Nabakov wrote Lolita on little index cards while sitting in his car with the windows rolled up, so he was in a little writing cave. So hey, I can fill an index card! Three good lessons for me in novel writing.
- Short lyric sections are okay
- Choose a structure and forget about it
- Index cards!
I think I'm ready to go on!