Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dreaming in Words

There are two good parts of novel writing. The first is when you begin dreaming about the book, when a character or a situation comes to you, and you think, oh that would make a good story. You go to bed thinking about it and you mull it over while in boring government meetings. It’s a bit like painting a picture in reverse – you first draw a few main people and events in your mind and fill in the background later. I love those early weeks, when you just know your characters are unique in fiction, your setting memorable, glimmers of a plot begin to emerge and it seems that in a few short months, a completed and seamless manuscript will flow from your printer into a neat pile of paper, holding all the magic of words. And they are your words!

The second good part is when a novel has been finished. Passing lightly over the years of angst, frustration, loneliness and self doubt that intervene, there does come a day when you have finished the blessed thing. There’s no point reading it again – you can no longer see a single word. Family members have been tortured with the dilemmas of your characters. Literary friends have been pressed into reading it and giving their thoughts. Expensive reference books on literary markets have been bought and pored over. Then you find someone – publisher or agent – who agrees to read it and you send it off. An assistant acknowledges it and, if you are lucky, mentions a time frame in which an answer will be given. You save it on multiple computers and jump drives and then there is nothing more to do. Except wait. And dream. You are back to dreaming.

All of this is a very long way of explaining the silence of this blog over these past few months – I’ve been finishing my second novel. “How to” books on blogging say there must be no hiatus – the number one rule of blogging is frequent posts. Too bad. I’m kinda opposed to blogging rules in any case. So now SnailWriter is back…

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