Saturday, May 21, 2011

How 2 Write

Aloha, Friend!


  "Father of modern surfing."
was the REAL deal!

"Just take your time - wave comes.
Let the other guys go, catch another one."

Duke


Nice looking scoot-




"Good artists borrow,
great artists steal."

Picasso





 -Things are not always
what they appear to be.


"Mirrors should think longer 
before they reflect."

Jean Cocteau


 ><}}(°>
Once I asked my psychology professor:
"Where do hypotheses come from."
How do scientists decide 
what to try to prove/disprove? 
She was wise and admitted to me
that such 'inspirations'
remain a wonderful unknown.
There are lots of people
who will tell you
'how to write.'
Some of them,
in his worthy 
give excellent, 
very useful advice. 
 But where do ideas come from?
What is worth writing about?
Why should a reader care?
It is said that Robert Louis Stevenson,
 when he needed money, 
would ask his 'Brownies'
for a new story plot
which they always supplied to him
while he slept.
  "And for the Little People, what shall I say
they are but just my Brownies, God bless them!
who do one-half my work for me while I am fast asleep,
and in all human likelihood, do the rest for me as well,
when I am wide awake and fondly suppose I do it for myself."

Robert Louis Stevenson


Now I'm going to share MY method.
I do not sit before a blank screen.
By the time I sit down to 'write'
I have an idea and notes;
I know what I am going to write about
even though it often takes me on a journey,
a path,
I knew not of
beforehand.
If you came to my desk
you would see stacks of magazines
full of highlighting and folded-over pages.

You would also see lots of notes on paper.

When I walk, when I meditate, 
when I watch TV,
I always keep paper and a writing tool
near.

The best ideas arise
"out of the blue."
So I capture those wild ideas.

When it is time to write a blog post,
(if there is no topic on my mind)
I sit with all my notes,
and quotes looking for an idea
that is ripe & ready;
an idea that speaks to me.


The thing that interests me
is ready to play that day.

A two-sentence idea
will be 'dead' one day
and birth a great post the next!

Then you learn to write,
by writing.
And by reading.

And by reading books like Charles' .

It can take years to develop a voice.
Don't make the rookie mistake of trying to 
'sound smart'
or to write like someone else.

(Actually, copying writers who speak to you
is a useful exercise - but your work
will ultimately be
your own,
or it will be something less than
Writing.)
"You do not really understand something
unless you can explain it to your grandmother."
 
 Albert Einstein

My novel was an idea that wouldn't leave me alone.
I HAD to write it!
But HOW??!!

I thought about it for a long, long time.
Something would come into my mind and I'd think:
"This will be in the book."
And I'd write it in a notebook.

One day, looking at those notebooks
I read a piece that seemed to be a place to start.
I wrote a chapter from that rich raw material.



Then it seemed that the second chapter should
'flash back'
to how the protagonist got to that place.

I had no outline of chapters;
I confess that I wrote them one at a time.

Only reading the manuscript afterwards
did I see the logic 
of the narrative thread.
I also saw that I had a manuscript,
not a book.
That is where the real work begins:
removing, revamping; praying.

The next book will arise
and force me to write it.
Or not.

This time
I WILL have an outline,
some structure, a narrative arc.

Or maybe I won't.

You can learn how to write clearly,
and you SHOULD
(if you want to be any sort of writer)

But to be a Writer
you will need magical Ideas.

You can ask the Brownies,
you can pray,
you can decide what the market wants.

But creating a story that breathes,
that lives,
that strangers will care about,
remains a tough task
requiring some luck
in the end.

At least it is to me.

Thanks for being a part
of that magic!

           Please leave your comment!  cloudia