Sunday, January 30, 2011

Whose shoulders am I standing on?

We weren't allowed a television, so I've been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. I wasn't keen on Dick, Jane and Spot, but I adored Ramona Quimbley. I loved L. Frank Baum's Oz books. In school, we read the classics, but at home I reveled in Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov. A cancelled airplane flight led me to Bertrice Small and the world of romance. I knew I'd found my literary home.

3-Act story structure is what I would have learned if I hadn't tried to be a physics major in college. Or a mother, wife, gardener, wage-earner in real life. It's never too late, though. This winter I've studied Syd Field and Larry Brooks, and I now understand how a plot should unfold.

The craft of writing serves many masters. I just finished writing the text for my CSA's new website, and am editing web copy for my soup business' new home party plan. These don't have plots, but they have purpose. And players, and dreams, and needs, and hopes. I will have done all I can to generate work for the employees who depend on me.

And I'll be able to get back to my WIP.


  1. This made me smile because NO-ONE had a television when I was a child. The first TV I ever saw was when I was 10, and watched the Queen's coronation on a tiny 9 inch (black and white) TV screen at the home of my aunt's friend! But, as you say, not having a TV did mean that we read more. I think we also used our imaginations more as we listened to stories and plays on the radio.
    Good luck with your WIP :-)

  2. Hi,

    We did have a television but programmes didn't start until the evenings back then 6-7, plus I had to be in bed by about half seven: eight at latest on weekends. So having a book beneath the bedclothes with a torch was the norm! There was a veritable library of books in our house and I never lost my hunger for books.

    I'm dreading my due post tomorrow: blank!

    Anyhoo, good luck with getting back to your WIP.

  3. Blank is often a good place to start, Francine! The time I started with a total blank was when I ended up my writing my elevator scene (am sure Ana will remember that one!) which I am still quite proud of!
    Think laterally! ;-)

  4. That was a great scene, Paula. Of course it helps to have a real man in mind.

  5. Good luck with your WIP, Ana and your business too. How enterprizing. Like Paula we didn't have a tv and the first tv I saw, was the Queen's coronation on my aunt 's t.v.

    I read a good deal and there was the radio, thank goodness wonderful Radio 4 is still with us producing excellent programmes. The Home Service as it was called in my day, really fed my imagination. Radio in many ways is far more inspiring than tv.and is ambrosia for the imagination.