Friday, February 5, 2010

On the Bright Side... Advice from Grisham

Friday, February 5, 2010

A pox on evil computer geeks who have nothing better to do than create vicious viruses that infect and DESTROY other people's computers!

Just had to get that out of my system. Yes, my laptop got slammed with a virus five days ago. It's still not up and running. Thus far all of my files, personal and professionl, are lost. My brilliant, wonderfully techy husband is pretty sure he can retreive my most important files via some external hard drive do-hicky. He ordered said do-hicky and hopefully it will arrive today. Meanwhile I have spent the last few days trying to reconstruct the synopsis I'd been working so hard on. A synopsis that my agent and editor are anxious to read. So far I've rewritten 6 of the 12 pages. Still, I'm way behind schedule now thanks to that blasted virus.

On the bright side....

While wrestling with pacing and plotting for this new story idea, I remembered that I had a to-do list of John Grisham's. What to do when you're constructing a novel. I tracked down that list because I remember finding it very helpful. Maybe you will, too. Behold...

John Grisham's Ten Commandments

1. Start with action. Explain it later.

2. Make it tough for your protagonist.

3. Plant it early. Pay it off later.

4. Give the protagonist the initiative.

5. Give the protagonist a personal stake.

6. Give the protagonist a short time list. Then shorten it again.

7. Choose your characters according to your own capacties as well as his/hers.

8. Know your destination before you set out.

9. Don't rush in where angels fear to tred.

10. Don't write anything you wouldn't want to read.

SIS Beth (and John Grisham)


Elle J Rossi said...


Crap situation about the virus. I feel for you.

This list is encouraging. I'm doing most of that. I will admit that I don't understand #9 completely. Someone please explain that one. Does it mean be fearful? Even the hero/heroine gets scared?

SIS Barb aka Elle J Rossi

SIS BJ said...

Hi Beth

I don't think hackers care who they hurt. It is a big high for them. The more they hurt the better they feel. I hope they catch the person who did it and never let them go near a computer again.

Tori Lennox said...

I've been thinking about the best punishment for hackers. And it occurs to me that breaking their fingers and hands might be a good start.

Hugs on getting a virus!!!

Beth Ciotta said...


After five days of intense hard work, frustration, and then finally a piece of hardware Steve ordered that came in yesterday... my brilliant husband was able to extract ALL my files from the damaged hard drive and to save else where. Then he had to wipe the damaged HD clean and upload a new operating system. All I know is that as of tonight, I'll have my laptop and files back. THANK YOU, STEVE!!

And... what Tori said. :)

SIS Beth

Linda Wisdom said...

Not good at all but good you saved everything. I have an external hard drive I copy my laptop to on a regular basis and my book file is saved to a flash drive every time before I shut down.

I once had a corrupted book file my husband was able to save, but it lost all puncuation. Hundreds of pages of a run on sentence. I cried!

Sisters-in-Sync said...

Linda, I have a very bad habit of forgetting to backup my files... even though this isn't the first time I've lost (or almost lost) important info. I hope I learned my lesson this time. Scary, scary situation. Kudos to you for being so organized and wise!

Regarding the corrupt book and lost puntctuation... I would have cried too! That must've been a bear to correct!

SIS Beth

Sisters-in-Sync said...


So sorry about your virus but glad that Steve was able to extract your files.

And I agree with Tori, break the fingers...and then a good punch in the nose.

I really like John Grisham's list...then again, I love his novels. Thanks for sharing it.

SIS Bren

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