Monday, September 28, 2009

Writing The Path

Panda ruining my new laptop

So I'm writing-writing again. I do make the distinction between what I do here --which is a different kind of writing (blogging). It feels really good. Writing a novel is like creating a life path. If only they could have just said that during my years taking classes.
"Okay, so yer character starts here, and your job is to help them find their path to an end."*
Not so easy, in fact a real puzzle. The main reason is that while finding their path, the writer is also finding their own. Where does writing fit in their life? How much time to invest? What is the writer's own identity? (An everchanging answer). In the process of writing we discover much about ourselves. I can't imagine someone not emerging transformed in some way by the process of writing a book. When the writing is going good, perhaps we've reached a stage of transcendence and the words are just unfurling themselves before us onto the page.

It also explains why all writing --be it blogging or some other form is addicting.** In the process we're solving the puzzle of who we are, adding this, subtracting that, shoving something over. But I have to say that writing a book is probably the hardest --because we're alone, no one leaves little comments from time to time, and at times it feels like we're writing into a void.

That is, until we remember that our characters are with us, waiting for us to guide them along the path.

*"That'll be $350. Cash, Visa or Mastercard. No Discover or AMEX. Thank you for taking my workshop."
**It's why my friend Frank Schaeffer can pump out two books a year, and have another 8 in the hopper.