inkwell.vue.145 : David Menconi: Off the Record
permalink #126 of 134: Berliner (captward) Thu 18 Apr 02 02:50
    
Just curious, but a lot of what you've said about the technique of
writing a novel makes me want to ask if you've ever taken a course in
it. (I hope the answer is no; I have a belief that for people with
talent, this sort of thing can be discovered spontaneously while you're
doing it). 
  
inkwell.vue.145 : David Menconi: Off the Record
permalink #127 of 134: sonically gorgeous with no real content (watadoo) Thu 18 Apr 02 03:31
    
I've heard many writers speak of the technique of biological sketches
to the point of writing complete family histories of a character to
obtain a deeper understanding of what makes them tick. 

Sure seems to have worked in your caee, David. I found Michelle and
the drummer both to have deep layers of substance and believablity.
  
inkwell.vue.145 : David Menconi: Off the Record
permalink #128 of 134: David Menconi (davidmenconi) Thu 18 Apr 02 07:36
    
>Did you do the tour diary while preparing, or after the book was
finished?>
>

About a quarter of Michelle's tour diary was cribbed from her
character sketch, so that part came during the between-draft
preparation stage. The rest, I wrote specifically for the website after
the book was finished.







>Just curious, but a lot of what you've said about the technique of
writing a novel makes me want to ask if you've ever taken a course in
it. (I hope the answer is no; I have a belief that for people with
talent, this sort of thing can be discovered spontaneously while you're
doing it).>
>

Nope, never took a course in it. A few close friends did offer very
helpful advice. For example, the character sketches -- a suggestion
from Juliet Wittman, my first editor (at the daily paper in Boulder,
Colorado). But for the most part, it was a very solitary undertaking. I
didn't let anybody see any of it until after the first draft was done.
Partly, that was because I didn't want to start confusing myself with
outside input while I was still in the middle of it. But it was also
insecurity, I must confess. The whole routine of joining writers groups
and going to readings to network sounded completely unappealing, and I
wasn't sure my ego was up to it. So I just put my head down and
muddled through on my own.
  
inkwell.vue.145 : David Menconi: Off the Record
permalink #129 of 134: David Menconi (davidmenconi) Thu 18 Apr 02 07:40
    
>I've heard many writers speak of the technique of biological sketches
to the point of writing complete family histories of a character to
obtain a deeper understanding of what makes them tick. 

Sure seems to have worked in your caee, David. I found Michelle and
the drummer both to have deep layers of substance and believablity.>
>

Thank ya kindly. These mini-biographies got pretty involved, although
I didn't really go farther back than any character's parents in
compiling everybody's personal histories. Maybe someday, I'll have
occasion to put out the "director's cut" version of the book with all
this stuff in an appendix. <grin>
  
inkwell.vue.145 : David Menconi: Off the Record
permalink #130 of 134: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Fri 19 Apr 02 08:16
    
I'd like to ask about your description of the music, especially the
Tony/Michelle interplay. Did you base those passages on particular real
performances you'd seen?  Is it easier to describe real than fictional 
performances?
  
inkwell.vue.145 : David Menconi: Off the Record
permalink #131 of 134: Linda Castellani (castle) Fri 19 Apr 02 14:27
    

Today is the last official day for this discussion, but you are certainly
welcome to continue as long as you like.  Thank you to David and Ed and
all our online and offline participants!  It's been quite an informative
and entertaining read.
  
inkwell.vue.145 : David Menconi: Off the Record
permalink #132 of 134: David Gans (tnf) Fri 19 Apr 02 15:16
    
Yes indeed!  And I hope you;'ll hang out and continue.
  
inkwell.vue.145 : David Menconi: Off the Record
permalink #133 of 134: David Menconi (davidmenconi) Fri 19 Apr 02 15:28
    
>I'd like to ask about your description of the music, especially the
Tony/Michelle interplay. Did you base those passages on particular real
performances you'd seen?  Is it easier to describe real than fictional
performances?>
>

It was a combination of performances I've actually seen, some I made
up; a product of years & years of watching bands onstage, the way they
look/smile/snarl at each other, and imagining what they must be
thinking. I can remember some specific shows/bands that had particular
impact. One example, NRBQ -- watching them play an all-over-the-place
set full of turn-on-a-dime transitions, that was very useful in terms
of imagining TAB doing a lot of different styles of music. Guided By
Voices was another, since they basically play arena-rock shows in clubs
full of Big/Grand Rock Gestures. Just saw Guided By Voices again the
other night, in fact, which reminded me of how influential they were.

Just in case this is the end of the discussion, I wanted to say I've
enjoyed it immensely and appreciate everybody's time and energy. muchas
merci, gang.
  
inkwell.vue.145 : David Menconi: Off the Record
permalink #134 of 134: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Fri 19 Apr 02 16:41
    
It's been great, David! As Linda said, we can keep the topic going if you'd 
like. 
  



Members: Enter the conference to participate

Non-members: How to participate


Non-members: Please enter your comment or question:
All non-member comments are read before posting. All spam is discarded.

Your email address:
We will only use this email address to contact you for clarification.

Your real name:
Your name will be used to identify your comment if it is posted.



Subscribe to an RSS 2.0 feed of new responses in this topic RSS feed of new responses

   Join Us
Home | Learn About | Conferences | Member Pages | Mail | Store | Services & Help | Password | Join Us