Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Notes on Skidmore, Margot Livesey and Howard Norman

-- Margot said,
"Every sentence should:
* Reveal Character
* Advance Plot
* Deepen the Theme"

One of the mistakes we make, particularly in the world of MSWord, is editing the first page & not advancing forward. Margot suggests to make it a rule to start writing every day where you stopped the day before.

For the novel, Margot differentiated between the long line of suspense and the short line of suspense. I wish I could reproduce here the diagram she drew on the blackboard: it looks a lot like a caterpillar.

-- Howard Norman spoke about his journey around Japan in the footsteps of a haiku poet, Matsuo Basho. He read several pieces of his travel log, "On the Trail of a Ghost," that I believe was published last year by the National Geographic. He told amusing stories about mountainous trails and anecdotes about haiku poets and scholars. I wrote down several random quotes:

"being aware of the claims of fact but not oppressed by them" -- one might apply this sentiment to the debate on fact vs fiction :)
"the traveler is a ghost to be" -- I wonder if this has to do with the title of his book
"Tell the bear that Japan is a buddhist country." -- a punchline to an anecdote he told.


  1. I love HoNo. Especially the HoNo show. I even read Basho, as I wanted to know what made him care enough to go on this journey... (sarah)

  2. Didn't know he had a show! Gotta check it out.