All Quiet on the Novel Front? No, there is more here than you see….

Work on the novel has been a little slow.At least that’s how it looks from the outside.

Which is not surprising. Working on a big project like this is more akin to a marathon than a sprint. I am also one of those writers who, rather than wade into the thicket unprepared, I like to think through a part of the novel if it looks as if it will be troublesome.

This next part of the novel necessarily isn’t troublesome, by definition of the word, but there are difficult layers to it I want to understand before I tackle it. I don’t always do this with every story or every scene. Sometimes parts of a story are very easy to write, sometimes they are not.

I’m not complaining about all this. It’s part of writing. I made that pact long ago when I decided I was going to make this my profession. It’s the pact we all make when we decide we are going to write. I’m putting it out there because I am a writer and writing about things like this helps me process it and find avenues and methods out .Writing is mostly mental,not physical. Work on that part more than the other and you will be successful.

I’ve also been busy with other things in life which has eaten away writing time. This was a busy week. But hopefully next week will be better and I can get more words down on paper. Or electrons on the screen, or whatever.

But on top of all that one of the things I want to talk about is how we writers are working even when it doesn’t appear we are working. I have always maintained writing is 90% mental and that’s probably a low estimate. The actual writing part, the physical activity, isn’t the majority of the creativity process. It’s the mental work we do before, during, and after a story is written that truly makes a story come alive.

Now that I think of it maybe I should have made this a Conversation with Story pillar post, but that’s cool. I still stand by my judgment that writing is primarily a mental exercise. I mean, you need careful and specific movements to paint and sculpt and throw clay pots. You need careful and specific layers of imagination to write good stories.

At least that’s how it works for me. And even though I am not actively writing…I am still writing because I am working on the story in my mind and working through some problematic areas. Once I get that done, or at least reach a point where I understand the scene and can view it holistically, I will be ready to tackle it again.

May not look like it but trust me. I am still writing. All writers are writing, even when it looks as if they are not. We never stop writing. No real writer ever stops writing.

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8 Comments

  1. Terry

     /  December 3, 2011

    Ha. Good luck getting someone to believe that who just wants you to get off your lazy butt and go mow the yard, LOL! Well, if you can convince them, bottle that ability up and sell it — writers have been telling non-writers that since the cave-people days.

    Reply
  2. Hey, you are preaching to the choir here, buddy! I work out resolutions to apparent conflicts in my storylines ALL THE TIME–these tasks will not leave me alone, for crying out loud. As far as you guys being plagued with “honey-do” chores, I will just give thanks to be female, being a senior citizen who is SUPPOSED to be on her derriere!

    Reply
  3. Great article and story combine in your post thanks for sharing šŸ™‚

    Reply
  1. Talk is Cheap, Writing is Hard « Hoover's Corner

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