Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Day 18 of the Golden Coffee Cup: Conrad Wesselhoeft

Whoop for day 18 of the Golden Coffee Cup! You have got to feel pleased today. Take time today to flip through your pages. You rock!

No clue what a Golden Coffee Cup is? Click here.

Today is another fist-bump. My friend and colleague, Conrad Wesselhoeft bumps fist with Seattle sports impresario and rock 'n' roll drummer Michael Kelly.

To me, Conrad W. is one of the best writers that I have ever read. He's got a book coming out next year called ADIOS, NIRVANA from Houghton Mifflin. I borrowed this from Publisher's Marketplace: ADIOS, NIRVANA is about a teenaged poet-musician who survives the first anniversary of his twin brother's death with the help of a dying blind man, the best group of thicks a guy could have, a demanding school principal who wants him to play the "pussiest song in the world," at graduation, and one very special guitar, for publication in fall 2010. Watch for it. This guy writes the bone -- sturdy, ageless stories that I'm so thankful that he's taken the time to craft.

He's bringing the java today and tomorrow. So Yay!!!!

First, Conrad offers some insight how to improve the structure of a novel, stressing the profitableness of revision. This should bring some peace and hope to you all, and help you press forward with your projects. Conrad writes:

The nice thing about the structure of a novel--as opposed to the structure of, say, a cathedral--is that the revision process lets you go back and add bolts and girders, without everything imploding. I'm finding with my book (ADIOS, NIRVANA), even this far into the revision, that adding one little bolt (just a phrase or sentence) in chapter three, for example, can definitely strengthen the rest of the book, in terms of plot. And yet I wasn't aware of the need for that bolt until now. So time, puzzling and pondering are great friends. They give answers, eventually.

I love this next bit about how to create a meaningful character. Here's another sip from Conrad:

I believe that the more a character "confesses," or shares, of his or her deep worries and feelings, the more interesting that character is, and the more the reader wants to get involved. A confessional tone can both relieve tension, and cause it. There's a fine line, though. Some writers are so agile, that their characters confess virtually nothing, but they imply much, through action. The challenge is to find the balance--how much to share.

Think about it? Are your characters confessing?

I know this is a venti java today. Thanks, Conrad. Come back manana for more, folks!

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. Edward Abbey.


Vijaya said...

Oh, I've been so out of the loop, I didn't know Conrad's book is coming out next year! Looking forward to it.

Janet Lee Carey said...

Congrats to Conrad and thanks for the coffee sips today.

Anonymous said...

A perfect "AH HA!" moment for me, Conrad. Do you ever get tired of being so totally wise?? Sheesh!

PS. I, sooooo, cannot wait to read this book!