Writing My Novel with Refuse to Be Done

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I’ve read a lot of books on writing through my undergraduate and graduate studies. While focused on craft, these books don’t speak so much about novel writing. A year ago, I picked up Matt Bell’s Refuse to Be Done: How to Write and Rewrite a Novel in Three Drafts. Some of the advice is similar to that of my friends who have written novels. Namely, you got to get your ass in the chair every day and write.

But, Bell talks about writing in a generative fashion. I’ve taken his message of “writing the islands” to heart, which is basically to focus on the interesting bits that you’re excited about. One thing it made me think about lately was Wade from the Three-Body Problem, when presented with the attack on Earth by the San-Ti, Wade develops the policy to “Advance.” No matter how small, progress must be made. With that in mind, writing about the novel, doing character development, sketching out the setting for the scene all lead toward advancing the work.

Anyway, I’m excited and it feels good to be writing again.

Tim Lepczyk

Writer, Technologist, and Librarian.

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