Monday, December 12, 2011

Morrill's Monday Morning Mashup - 12/12/11


creative combination
or mixing of content
from different sources.

Now that many of you have finished your Nanowrimo novels, (or for any other novel that needs some rework,) this is an excellent article on how to work through what Anne Lamott, author of Bird by Bird, calls the "shitty first draft." I like to think of first drafts as the seeds to a flower, eggs to a chicken, a trickling stream to the Grand Canyon. Oh, forget it. You get the picture. Three Ways to Work Through a Difficult First Draft was written by guest blogger, Christi Craig, on Suzannah Windsor Freeman's Write It Sideways.

Kristen Lamb's blog post, Is Your Novel a Spineless Weakling, was another good follow-up for Nanowrimo, and one of the best articles I've read on the necessity of an antagonist in your novel. In Broken Dolls, there are two antagonists -- Society, and Mama. Who is your antagonist? (Big newsleak: Watch for news of a guest appearance by Kristen Lamb at a future Ozarks Writers League meeting!)

And, if you are having a tough time even coming up with a "shitty first draft," here are a couple of links with writing prompts:

I'll close this week's mashup with a quote by Elmore Leonard, who defined the difficulty of editing in a deceptively simple way:

"I try to leave out the parts that people skip."


  1. I love that final quote :) Let's leave the skipping to school children on a sidewalk. Do they have an App for that now?

  2. Wow - I'm really excited that Kristin Lamb will be coming to OWL! That's a meeting I'll definitely attend :)

    And I've loved Elmore's quote for a while and always try to keep it mind while I'm editing. Problem is, what's interesting to me isn't always interesting to everyone else, haha.

  3. @Russell - I love that quote, too, and try to keep in in my mind when I'm editing. An App for that? Now there's an idea! (Bet you could write a story on that.)

    @Madisonwoods - I have a tentative "yes," so keep your fingers crossed. She'll be a great speaker. One thing I know I skip when I read is long narrative passages. I guess I'm a lazy reader, because I like white space - short paragraphs, dialogue, etc. So, that's one thing I strive for in my writing.

  4. Great post, Jan. I'm looking forward to hearing Ms Lamb at the OWL meeting. I want to learn what can be done about the shitty second and third drafts!!

  5. Thanks, @ClaireCroxton. I think Ms. Lamb will have lots of good advice, both on writing and social media. So keep your fingers crossed!