Monday, February 2, 2009

Recipe for a Novel

click on photos to enlarge!

"The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:

Little we see in Nature that is ours. . . " Wordsworth

"A solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities." Maya Angelou

"It takes a great deal of history to produce a little literature." Henry James

Recipe for a Novel

1) First get the germ of an idea.

No one really knows where these come from, so read a lot, wonder a lot, be interested in lots of seemingly unconnected or unimportant things and ideas. Travel outside the lines.

2) Explore, ruminate and forget about your germ of an idea.

3) Repeat #2.

4) Stumble on related information, then begin research out of fascination.

5) Synchronicity, serendipity, and fortunate coincidences concerning your idea/inspiration begin to find you regularly. This idea won't go away!

6) Get a notebook. Keep it near. Write down EVERYTHING that has any "spark" to it. don't worry, you can throw most of it out later, but it is important that you write it down.

7) Scenes and characters emerge and get written in the notebook as if you are under a spell.

8) Some sense of Beginning, Middle & End begins to emerge.

9) Forget about this project for a while. Let it marinate generously in time. Eventually it will compel you to continue - or not. If the latter, you have been cured!

10) Anxiety over the enormity of the task is followed by hopelessness and surrender.

11) Once you've given up, re infatuation will occur. A smaller part of yourself has dropped by the way side; now your subconscious, higher self, and accruing skills can continue the project unencumbered.

12) Once "finished" you will be disappointed upon reading your manuscript through. Is that all there is?!

13) You suddenly realize that what you have is a first draft! This is high-grade raw material.

14) You begin to polish, toss out, move around, aggregate you material.

15) Pause, polish, share it, listen.

16) Revise yet again, but know when to stop touching it.

17) Once you have something that is surprisingly good, that folks you respect seem to genuinely like, the REAL work begins! It's called publishing and promotion. Good Luck!

A L O H A! Cloudia