I don't know about you but I must constantly scratch and claw to find time to do all the things I want/need to do. It's like a horrendous battle every day.
One of the areas that I wrestle with is how much time to allow myself to read industry-related blogs and books on writing. I know some writers who sniff in disdain at the thought of reading posts or books about writing and insist that you must simply write, not read about writing. That's fine if that's what works for them.
But for me, I find reading about the techniques of writing beneficial. Granted, too much writerly education can bore you stiff, but there's nothing more valuable to me that reading a blog post or a section in a craft book that triggers the lightbulb in your head and gives you an idea for exactly how you want to handle a scene or character. Personally, I have found that James Scott Bell and Donald Maass are best at triggering those lightbulb moments for your fiction.
Today over at Novel Matters, Bonnie Grove's post is "The First Two Questions To Ask When Starting To Write A Novel." You can read it here:
Her blog post and the second question she posed immediately solidified in my mind how to open my current work in progress. Thanks, Bonnie.
To me, the beginning of a novel is the hardest part of the book. Entering your story world at just the right time is critical, and I have a tendency, like most writers, to begin my story too early. In the first draft stage, that's okay, because I am often feeling my way around the story and need to write scenes that will later be cut out. That's just how I work.
But when it comes to final copy, your novel has to start at just the right spot in the story to launch the characters and your readers into a journey together. Bonnie's post helped me focus on the reason this story and it's main character appealed to me, and to funnel that in to the book's opening scenes.
Do you draw value from blogs and books on writing?