Prison Diary: On Writing Fiction

Here are some notes on writing and “my method,” especially related to producing first drafts; from March of 2010.  This was written early in my prison career; I will post further material on writing from the Prison Diary (which continues for another six years) as I get it dictated into the computer; this particular material...

Novel Plans: Diary 3/19 to 3/25/21

A title occurs to me:  The Curse of Lolita, or perhaps Lolita’s Curse, though the latter seems misleading.  Or how about The Blessing of Lolita?  I am not taken with it.  Later thought:  The Lolita Curse; this is the best version.  I’ll live with it for a while and see.  I’m thinking satire, which is not what I had in mind.

Diary, 6/23 to 6/27/19

Even as I think of saying, “The world doesn’t need more contenders,” etc., another voice pipes up: “So you’re content to waste your gifts.” No, I guess I’m not content, it’s probably accurate to say that I’ve never been content, with the possible exception of the time after I had decided that I wanted to be a novelist. I quickly discovered that what I really wanted was to have the perks without doing the work.

Diary, 6/19 to 6/22/19

So, am I going to commit to writing, or not? Turning Pro? I think that I must—I think I’m at a “make or break” point in my life, and must make something lest I break something. It seems most natural to start each day with diary writing, unless some day I wake with an urgent need to work on another project. Of course, it would be a mistake to allow myself to be distracted by the diary to the point that I never work on anything else.