Well, is there such a thing as the writer’s conundrum? That would be, perhaps, a logical proposition as to the role of writers, their responsibility, their freedom. Isn’t it the case that, for example, a writer whose inspiration is drawn from the society of her time, somehow owes that society something in return: her novel, her contribution to the common welfare, maybe the denunciation of evil?
So, how about this writer’s conundrum:
His inspiration came from the characters he created, but, once created, the characters didn’t let him develop the story: they wanted to tell their own…
On May 7 I hope to do justice to the subject – facts and feelings about the A to Z Challenge for April – but since this is the last post (as a matter of writing?) It is tempting to finish this challenge in this way.
Of course the A to Z is a challenge, and one that boosts a writer’s creativity and zeal. In this case this has prompted me to write, at the very beginning, an alphabetically ordered (as ever a nerd) list of all the words that invoked something. Only in two or three cases did I feel later compelled to change the original choice, pushed by circumstances, or inspired by reading, some news, or a sentence heard on the street. Inspiration may come from so many strange and unexpected sources! Indeed after a week I found this exercise of late evening writing, and early morning editing, taking a momentum of its own.
But why isn’t it as easy – or at least as comfortable, if this is the word, no, “natural” is closer to it, surely? Why isn’t it as natural to work on the novel? This is the crunch: April has been the month of the challenge, but also the month when I had to admit that a rethink was overdue, after months of toil. In this way, the A to Z has depleted this writer’s zeal as well: it is in part responsible for the decision – ahhh! – to restart with somewhat new premises – fleetingly tempted to write “paradigm”, you fool… – a heartbreaking one for any writer, aspiring or confirmed.
The challenge is not to be blamed solely for that decision: comments received, sometime from people very dear to me 😦 – have contributed, as well as what I would like to think of as “aspiring writer’s fatigue”. A strange feeling that, and one I might blog about in the near future… What am I going to do now the challenge is over?
Turn back time and I will be
as of the wind
sugarcrafted on the skin
with pause for eyes the nose
when the moon sucks the wood
from yonder trees
and chiff-chaffs stick
their nosey points towards
grey bony threads of
when all is sifted and I a
a slump and spendage
around the shoulders
of stalwart better things
Chapters One and Two are out! I’m grateful for comments from readers and writers… This is “work in progress”, an unfinished novel which is still evolving, with characters running away, doing their own things!
The virtual locations, Berlin and then the “Mindless Island” are in Metaverses (respectively Twinity, renamed Tarsus, and SL) but also, in the background, in the “Street”, invented all those years back (1992) by Neal Stephenson, an author I much admired. You can see some of the (real life) places Sarah and Julian love here. There is a picture of Jane, Julian’s sister, in her SL avatar here. Enjoy!
Sorry to disappoint you, but I am not going to give you a summary or review or debate about Virginia Woolf’s seminal and polemical essay published in 1929 entitled ‘A Room of One’s Own’. There is a detailed analysis of the book on SparkNotes, but reactions to this proto-feminist essay are usually mixed. When I reread it recently, I was pleasantly surprised to find it much wittier and easy to read than I had remembered, and certainly more accessible than many of her novels.
Anyway, the title of my post today has more to do with that essential element of a writer’s life: the space where they can do the actual writing. I have nothing but admiration for those writers (Jane Austen, for instance) who manage to write in the family room, a constant victim of interruptions and misplaced curiosity. For myself, I completely understand Virginia’s statement:
I love belonging to a bookclub and let me tell you why.
I really miss taking an English class where they make you read a book you would hardly ever choose yourself, then discuss it in class. The differing points of view and alternative book choices expand your mind and cause me to read much more closely. Also, on my own I end up reading way too many “fun” books which can be a little like candy as they don’t cause me to think about too much. Bookclubs make me read things with some meat on their bones, discussion-worthy.
The enjoyment of a book is drawn out and savored for a month and alternatively the stinkers can be laughed off or moaned over, or even blamed on someone else!
It can be a bonding experience over laughter, wine and a good book. You make friends and memories and have a good time doing it.
I follow Rachel, she’s of good advice, also very good reviews and interviews.
Something else to think about …
I recently wrote a few blog posts to help some of the people that I had met on forums to get to grips with Twitter. I said from the start that I am no expert, but over the last ten weeks or so since I launched Only the Innocent I have learned a lot more about Twitter which I’ve tried to share with other indie publishers. I got some great feedback to the earlier posts, and some very interesting comments – which have cast a slightly different light on things.
I have concluded (and am happy to be disagreed with) that as authors, we have to wear three hats.
In terms of Twitter, these are almost mutually exclusive.
The writer in all of us wants to do just that – to write. If we spend all…