Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Peder Hill and Dreaming Underwater

Peder Hill is a man who has chutzpah, I'll give him that. Peder has written to tell me about his web site on how to write a novel.

You can go take a look at it yourself. But so far as I can see Peder seems to have read a good deal about literary technique and he now presents some of the findings of his research for the benefit of others. Or that's the way I read it.

Bits of it look OK, but bits of it I don't like. All that stuff about character arcs, for instance. Hollywood gibberish if you ask me. Much beloved by studio executives who have absolutely no idea how to make a hit movie, and so they hire various gurus who feed them this kind of guff. Do you think John Grisham spends much time worrying about his characters' arcs? I rather doubt it.

The other major element in Peder's web site is the section devoted to his own work in progress, Dreaming Underwater. As I understand it, he has completed 28% of the thing. Which means that he intends the final work to be about 130,000 to 140,000 words. Too long, my friend, too long. You could write two books for that sort of money.