A little book question – Anna Spargo-Ryan

A little book question

A little book question

I’ve been tearing emotional shreds off myself working on this book idea of late. I love doing it, but as primarily a features and general shitty rambling writer, I’m struggling with the structure of it and could use your help.

Rather than being a book of essays, I’m considering a series of vignettes linked together to form a complete story (somewhere in the vicinity of 90, I think). That’s how I know how to write things that catch the emotion I’m looking for, and trying to force them to be something else isn’t working. Lengthy narrative makes it a story and a plot rather than a period of stark emotional hell.

Would you read a book that comprised a series of (connected) tales similar to the structure of the entries on this blog? You’re the first people to read any of it, so I would really value your input.

Thanks loves.

Update: A great example of this style in a book format is The One and Only Ivan, which I recommend you read either way!

  • Megan Blandford

    June 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm Reply

    Yes. I think using the power of your words and your voice is the key to this project, and if that format is how it’s coming together that’s how you should go with it.

    • Anna Spargo-Ryan

      June 14, 2012 at 5:27 pm Reply

      Thanks Megan, I agree with you (and just hope that it’s a viable format!) :)

  • Deb @ Bright and Precious

    June 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm Reply

    Anna! I’ve been thinking this VERY thing myself. I’m writing a book too, and thinking a little vignettes tied together would work better (maybe?) for what I am trying to capture. And exactly… much like my blog so far… snippets of stories with a common theme. It all depends on what you want to achieve. Plot heaviness is what I’m struggling with too. I’m not much help am I? Good luck. x

    • Anna Spargo-Ryan

      June 14, 2012 at 5:27 pm Reply

      Thanks for your feedback Deb :) Hope you’re having more luck than I am at the moment!

  • Kelly Exeter

    June 14, 2012 at 5:27 pm Reply

    Yes I think that’s a GREAT way of writing it – have you read Marieke Hardy’s book? That’s how she did it and it was really enjoyable :)

    • Anna Spargo-Ryan

      June 14, 2012 at 5:29 pm Reply

      Yes I have! What I have in mind is a bit shorter than what she did and a bit less narrative – lots of punchy dialogue, almost like a screenplay in prose form, which I’m sure is a real thing and makes perfect sense ;) Hm!

      • Kelly Exeter

        June 14, 2012 at 5:31 pm Reply

        Yep I think that will work beautifully A series of short, snappy vignettes that all up to a big picture. Love it already ;)

  • Karen

    June 14, 2012 at 6:18 pm Reply

    I love this idea!

    First, if it’s how *your* brain works then surely it’ll be the most authentic way of doing it. I’m not a writer but I guess it means your voice will be heard best?

    Second, as a reader I LOVE having little snippets to read and ponder instead of being dragged relentlessly through a story (even if I love it). Being able to digest great writing piece by piece so I can do everything justice is very appealing to me.

  • Sam Quigley

    June 14, 2012 at 6:20 pm Reply

    Sounds perfect. Anything in long sections, I will insist on reading in one sitting, after which I will be an emotional wreck, no good for nothin’ or no-one.

  • Sandi Sieger

    June 14, 2012 at 8:41 pm Reply

    A million times yes.

  • Krissy

    June 14, 2012 at 8:45 pm Reply

    Absolutely. I read something recently that sounds similar called Overlay – A Tale of One Girl’s Life in 1970s Las Vegas. It was nice and easy to digest. Do it!

    • Anna Spargo-Ryan

      June 15, 2012 at 12:45 pm Reply

      Thanks Krissy, I will definitely check it out :) My Kindle is being totally overloaded!

  • Cassy Small

    June 15, 2012 at 10:12 am Reply

    Hi Anna
    I’m interested to read everyone’s replies too as this is how I was thinking of planning my book. I agree with you, it’s tough when you’re used to writing articles, blogs and other small pieces to get your head around one big plot, complicated characters etc…
    I love the idea that your stories would have a common link.
    The biggest reason I had decided to do short stories was because I find this style easier to read with 2 young kids who are very demanding of my time. I get probably 15min chunks of time to read, probably perfect for a short story! I think this is a winning combo and can’t wait to read the finished product!!
    I’m also ready Bird By Bird at the moment, all about writing – it’s unreal and I think you’d find it helpful.
    Good luck!

  • Lana

    June 17, 2012 at 8:54 am Reply

    Anna, I would read your shopping list. That’s how much I love the way you write. Don’t change it for a book xx

  • bigwords

    June 17, 2012 at 11:55 am Reply

    I would read anything you wrote. Your voice is so unique, magical, honest and simply stunning. Just write something. Anything xx

    • Anna Spargo-Ryan

      June 18, 2012 at 10:01 am Reply


      How lovely are you Bianca? Thank you, I will certainly try x

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