The new novel that I’m working on is beginning to fall into place now; the characters are beginning to feel okay in the world that they inhabit and the story is beginning to bloom. I remember Stephen King, in his book “On Writing” comparing a writer writing a novel to a sculptor seeing a shape in a piece of marble and trying to carve what he sees (or something along those lines), and I can’t agree more with that analogy. He also says it’s as if the stories are already there and you’re just doing the archeological job of excavating them. Again, I agree.
This is because, as a writer, I think I am mainly of the gardening variety; I don’t like to plan, because if you plan too much, then you’ve pretty much told the story, and where’s the fun in writing something that you’ve already written. When I speak to people who like to plan to the last sentence, fear crosses their eyes at the thought of just heading out on the road, with 85,000 words rolling out in front of you, ready to be collected. I love it.
I don’t just make it up as I go along though, (well I do in the sense that that’s what fiction writing is); I’ve always got a few markers that I like to head towards, and like I’ve said before, these can be images, or situations, or anything really; but I head from one to the other, not worrying too much if what’s in front of me changes. For example: with the current story, I already know the ending. But if I end up digging up another ending along the way I won’t be afraid to chuck the old one out.
There is a certain amount of pressure involved when you’ve had these ideas in your head for so long, though, and when you get to writing them there is a little bit of trepidation to contend with; these are the images that the whole novel was built on, these are what you have been walking towards all this time, thinking about all these days and months and years. Pressure?
So, for the moment, the fear has left me (and is probably sitting on some other poor writer’s shoulder, whispering quietly into their ear, telling them that their work is crap), and I, at the moment, am enjoying the dig.
- You were not designed to fail: Writing Fiction (dorcasthewriter.wordpress.com)
- Stephen King On Writing: all my favourite parts (shortstorywhore.wordpress.com)
- Becoming a Storyteller: Plotter vs Pantser, or, Did Stephen King really just call me a Dullard? (dlfwriting.com)
- Taking The First Step (christinajoneswriter.com)