Get your idea for your book into a 'hook' or 'logline'.
Don't start writing until you've got your idea nice and tight in one sentence - packing an ironic pop!
No really, I wouldn't if I were you. I have, but when you start flabby, it's like loosely packed clay on the potter's wheel. You press the pedal and you've got shit flying in all directions.
I won't let my writers start writing until we know we have a solid, hard-working, great - and yes that means commercially viable - idea for a story. You leave The Classic Course with wonderment and irony locked and locked into your story idea. You start the Ninety Day Novel with seven days to get this tight. Honestly, a great idea can take years, so this is the hardest work you'll do on the course. Delivering the content of a novel is easy, once you've got an idea you can't wait to write and then you can allow yourself this Peter Pan moment:
'“How clever I am!” he crowed rapturously, “oh, the cleverness of me!”
It is humiliating to have to confess that this conceit of Peter was one of his most fascinating qualities. To put it with brutal frankness, there never was a cockier boy.'
(JM Barrie: Peter Pan and Wendy 1911)
What do I mean by irony? Well, it's not 'a black fly in your Chardonnay' or 'rain on your wedding day'. That's just bad luck. What's ironic about Alanis Morrissette's song is that it's not ironic.
'The expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite;
- a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often wryly amusing as a result.
- a literary technique, originally used in Greek tragedy, by which the full significance of a character's words or actions is clear to the audience or reader although unknown to the character.'
One notion in conflict with another SPRINGLOADS the idea and traps the reader inside the confection of your fiction, rattling between point and counterpoint immediately.
The result is the reader goes - WHAT! And that's how we want to keep them from start to finish of their reading experience.
Policeman turns to crime
who doesn't like women, becomes a woman, for the love of a woman.