Tag: novels

Home > ArchivesTag: novels

What is a Novel? by Jina Bacarr

September 11, 2010 by in category Archives tagged as , , , , , , , , , ,

A novel is like my friend, Uccello.

Writing is a solitary profession and taking a break from sitting at my computer is important to me. I like to walk. Every day I walk through a park on my way to the beach, smelling the flowers, enjoying the shade of the trees and listening to the birds singing.

One bird in particular captured my attention. He doesn’t sing better than the others, he’s not prettier, and he doesn’t fly in a soaring pattern. But we’ve formed a bond, Uccello and me.

I call him “uccello” (bird in Italian) because he reminds me of the birds singing outside my hotel window in Venice. I fell in love with the magical city with all its sights and smells when I spent time in Italy speaking and performing about Body & Eros at La Biennale dance festival.

Watch a short clip of the view from my window in Venice, Italy.

Seeing Uccello every day takes me back to Venice and reminds me of the evocative perfume I inhaled there.

I learned to recognize Uccello from the other birds, little things about the charcoal grey bird that caught my eye. He has a little white belly that wiggles when he preens himself like a de’ Medici grand duke and his chirping is short and musical like breathy notes on a flute. He follows me through the park, flitting from one perch to another, poking his head around to see if I’m dallying.

I’ve gotten to know his idiosyncrasies, like how he chirps twice when he sees me, then how he likes to show me what path to take by flying in front of me. The park has many winding pathways and I look forward to seeing where he’ll lead me on my walk each day.

To me, a novel is like Uccello. Something about it attracts your eye–it could be the title or the cover–you get closer, open up the book and it takes you on a journey. As you follow its winding paths, you breathe in its uniqueness. That’s part of the fun for me. I like to inhale the scent of the story.

It’s not something you can smell in a physical way, but it evokes an odoriferous response in you that makes you aware of the scents the author has created in their world, whether it’s fragrant roses, the salty sea, cinnamon, oil, pine cones, or the smell of sex.

The next time you read a novel, think about what you smell. It may surprise you.

I’m off to see Uccello.

Want to come along? It’s easy.

Open a novel and join us.


The Blonde Samurai: “She embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.”

Jina Bacarr is also the author of The Blonde Geisha ,Cleopatra’s Perfume, Naughty Paris, Tokyo Rendezvous, a Spice Brief, and Spies, Lies & Naked Thighs
visit my website: http://www.jinabacarr.com/

0 0 Read more

Learning to Love the Writing Process

June 28, 2009 by in category Archives tagged as , ,

Writing a book is not easy. If it were, everyone would do it.

It’s not like writing a term paper. Yes, it requires hard work and research, but the thing that makes a book special is the heart and soul the author puts into it. It really is like childbirth. There’s a lot of pain and sweat and maybe some cursing, and then finally a new project is brought into the world—a unique and wonderful project that is nothing like anyone else’s. Just like a baby.

When a writer first decides to write a book, most of the time he or she is not quite sure how to go about it. The non-writing part of the population figures you just need to sit down and put in some time and poof—a book is born (See term paper reference above). Yes, writing an entire book does take time. How much time? That depends on the writer. And you can speed up your writing time by accepting and loving your Process.

What is your Process? It is how you write your book. Not how I write my book—that’s my Process. You need to figure out your own process—what works for you that gets you from Page One to The End. And the best way to do that is to write a book, all the way through.

Every writer has his or her own process. I’ve written and published twelve books over the past ten years or so, and I still call up my friend when I get stuck. And I still get stuck at the same place in every book—between chapters five and nine—where I spend a long time banging my head against the wall and wondering if I will ever finish another book in my life…EVER. And you know what my friend says? “Oh, that’s just your process.”

For some reason, knowing that this is my process immediately makes me feel better.

“You do this with every book,” she says.

I do?

“I’ve been studying your process. I’m trying to learn from it.”

You are? Can you clue me in?

I have learned some things about my process over the years. There’s the chapter 5-9 problem. Usually when I’m in the middle of a frustrated, Tasmanian Devil spin, the realization that I am at the end of chapter six calms me down. Okay, this is what I always do. Grit teeth and tough it out.

Then there’s the fact that I am sort of an organized pantser. I’ve been selling on synopsis for about eight or nine years now. I write a synopsis and get approval from the publisher, and then I start writing the book. I write the first couple of chapters. Go back, change them. Decide no, that’s not where the story starts. Write a different beginning. Okay, this one might work. Write some more (usually just up to chapter 4 or so—don’t want to hit the No Man’s Land of Chapters 5-9 while still wrestling with the beginning). I might even write a third incarnation of the beginning of the book. Send to writing friends for review. Get comments. Maybe I hear a speaker or read a writing book that makes me reconsider the beginning. Maybe I try storyboarding, but something still isn’t right. In the end, nine times out of ten I will end up going back to my first version of the beginning of the book. Turns out that was the right place to start after all.

Once I have accepted the beginning few chapters, and I have wrestled with my chapter 5-9 issue, I usually get to the first love scene in the middle of the book—around chapter 10 or so. Writing love scenes and sexual tension is easy for me, so once I get to that point, the rest of the book flies. I am able to surge forward at warp speed and finish the book on time.

With every book I write, the frustration is still there. The certainty that my last book may well have been my LAST book. Every beginning I chase myself in circles. Every second quarter of the book I bang my head against the wall. Then I hit the middle and suddenly the words fly almost faster than I can type them. And when it’s all over, I have a book to submit.

Then I have to do it all again for the next one.

Understanding my process definitely makes it easier to accept while I am in the midst of deadline angst. Loving my process is harder, but the two of us are joined irrevocably. We create wonderful stories together, and that makes it all worthwhile.

3 0 Read more

Copyright ©2017 A Slice of Orange. All Rights Reserved. ~PROUDLY POWERED BY WORDPRESS ~ CREATED BY ISHYOBOY.COM