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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thunk Chunks

That probably sounds gross.

But what I'm talking about is writing (of course...do I ever blog about anything else??). Specifically, the feeling you get in your core when you read something that works. That grabs your soul and makes it feel something.


That's powerful writing.

More specifically, I'm referring to Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going, which not only made me feel something, but tore my soul out on every page in short, precise chunks.

Thunk chunks.

Short, short chapters (often not even a page) so focused, like an SLR on some perfect moment, some breathtakingly honest interaction between her characters, that I couldn't help but stay with them through anything. I tell you, that was Thunk. If you haven't read it, check it out for the sheer perfection of the short chapter form.

I think I'm a person of few words until someone says, "You? Shy??" (I am, I promise). I used to think I was a spare writer, wordiness having been definitively kicked to the curb by my professors. But as I explore Brimstone Soup, I'm finding my inner chatterbox, I guess.

Maybe it's the lure of the exponential word count (I'm about 80% done with this draft!), or maybe I'm just getting carried away by the story (I just figured out the theme!). I start writing and often end up somewhere else, stretching each chapter into a complex labyrinth of ideas - completely antithetical to Thunk Chunks.

I have much to learn from K.L., and from others who Thunk Chunk. Meg Cabot. Megan McCafferty. Jerry Spinelli.

My November goals are twofold: finish this draft in order to have some time to revise before the February SCBWI conference (NYC, here I come!) and write 100 words a day for 100 days. This is no easy task with an eighteen month old, I promise. But once again I thank the folks who made a few more days of childcare possible (thankyouthankyouthankyou!). One hundred words aren't much, if you think about it. A paragraph. A third of a page. A few sentences of dialogue. I've already written more than 350 words in this blog entry. Surely I can write a hundred words more.

One hundred words aren't enough for a Thunk Chunk, but they are enough for a Thunk Seed - which, in a few days, could turn into a whole chunk. And these chunks are what make up our novels. Give them depth. Give them emotion. Give them, for lack of a better word...


1 comment:

  1. I like thunks. I call such things scenes, but that is because I'm at times a boooorrrrinnnngggg writer. Anyway, Holly, you are making things happen and that is brilliant.

    I hope your write hunks and chunks of thunks this week!

    BTW nice socks.