Day 34 – Strange Days

Strange day today — actually broke up my hour into three parts. I don’t recommend it. I was lucky today that I had a fairly clear bead on what I wanted to write, but if I was confused at all, it would have been a very slow, inefficient day getting back into the groove each time. But starting and stopping was beyond my control, and it all worked out, so I’m not complaining.

A good day in terms of settling on the Voice — yes, I am still struggling with that. I have been since the beginning, but I’m sure it wouldn’t make riveting blog posts talking about the same problem over and over. But today I made some progress, so I’m glad for that. Things are clicking into place.

Part of the reason  it’s coming together is that I think my “day job” writing is improving since I’ve developed my New Journalism approach. My writing is looser, but I think conveys more in a tighter space, if that makes any sense. In any case, it’s an unexpected side effect of this little project of mine: I see improvements to all my writing, which is kind of cool.

Today I questioned how far into the “non-fiction” style I am going to go. I played with the idea of making the novel into a collection of essays and articles, like someone putting together a scrapbook of writing covering a certain topic. But that would be too much like that book of postcards and/or letters from way back — the late 80’s or early 90’s maybe? (Anyone know what I’m talking about? They were huge for about 15 minutes, and then disappeared. I can’t remember the name…)

I think the concept’s been done a few times. Not that I couldn’t do it again, but when my mind went to that, I shuddered. Nothing against it, just not for me.

Anyway, I think it will be simply be like a non-fiction memoir of sorts. Style-wise at least — this is still a fictional novel.

Of course, that direction may still change. I love that actually about this whole process — I’m letting the format and ideas form and flow without much care about that yet either. I’m confident it will settle and gel eventually, without much too much force applied.


(Novel Writing Totals)

Hours Today: 1
Words Today: 1,373
Hours Total: 33.5
Words Total: 46,618

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5 Responses to Day 34 – Strange Days

  1. Kelly says:


    I find that too, that my writing anywhere (Creative Copy Challenge, blog, proposals, ad copy, other…) improves my writing everywhere. And colors it. I’m sure I write in a far more conversational tone in business writing since writing the blog, for instance, and I have the confidence in that casual tone to carry it off.

    As to postcard-style… there was a guy who wrote a children’s book that way in the 90s, I believe… The Kid’s got it on a shelf somewhere but I can’t spot it right now, it was sort of “fractured fairy tales.” I didn’t know anyone did it for “grownup” fiction, but it makes sense that it would have been a fad. It does have an appeal, but if you’ve seen it once… or a dozen times… yeah, might be too much already. 🙂

    Besides, journalistic with postcardistic (or personal-correspondence-istic) seems a tough mix. Keep it up, I think it’ll naturally find its proper place.


    Kelly’s most recent blog post: Purpose- Scale- and the Ideal Customer

    • Graham says:

      Hi Kelly,

      Yes, I think it was called something like “Cat and Leopold” (no, not the similarly-named movie) and was basically this relationship story told through the postcards and letters they sent each other. The “book” was tied up in ribbon, and I think you could actually take out the postcards and letters, etc.

      It’s been a long time, so the details are kind of fuzzy… It may have even been in the 80’s…

      In any case, I think I’ll stick with a straightforward linear style for now. You’re right, it’ll all fall into place eventually!


  2. Kelly says:


    Allan Ahlberg. The Jolly Postman. It was going to plague me all day ’til I remembered what that book is that my daughter’s got on her shelf.

    Oh, my gosh, that Wikipedia entry was interesting! Made me want to read some of the older ones. Maybe I’ll hunt around on Google books…

    (Ooh. Time-waster alert!)

    Until later,

    Kelly’s most recent blog post: Purpose- Scale- and the Ideal Customer

    • Graham says:

      Time-waster indeed! Or at least, low-priority time-filler. This week’s a killer, so I’m trying my darnedest to stay clear of those land mines…


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