When is a logical proposition a conundrum?
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…
Image: Jeanne Mammen, Jüngling, c.1943-45
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?
St. Augustine writing, revising, and re-writing: Sandro Botticelli's St. Augustine in His Cell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Just Walking This Earth: Doing the hard work – Editing.
Why don’t I do all of this? Smiling timidly… Must try harder!
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!
A montage showing author Neal Stephenson and four historical characters from his book series The Baroque Cycle: (counterclockwise from top left) Isaac Newton, Gottfried Leibniz, Electress Sophia of Hanover and William of Orange (Photo credit: Wikipedia)