Thursday, August 4, 2011
The Art of Writing-Painting Prose
If you ask me, the art of writing doesn't arrive in the final product. It isn't from the press and chisel of refining a rough product into a gem of a page-turning masterpiece, either.
The true art of writing is the ability to persist in the face of doubt, darkness, stress, fatigue, all the while clutching to a spark of hope that I might be able to do this story in my head justice.
Doubts: Will I be able to do this again? Will readers love it? Hate it? Will I finish on time? What if I fail?
Darkness: I am a hack. I am an amateur who somehow ducked into the publishing party and at any moment security will spot me and escort me out. I am fooling myself.
Stress: Pages first. Fans first. Social Media. Family. Friends. Brush my teeth. Shave my legs. Dye all that gray. Oh, yeah, and don't forget all the fun!
Fatigue: Up at 5am, to bed at 11pm. No time for the flu. Go, go, pause. Stop. Smell some roses. Who moved the roses?
Many of my stories begin fuzzy, a bit of a sketch I need to fill. It feels like listening and watching from under water. Little by little, word by word, the sounds and images emerge. Eventually, the story and characters in it will become vivid, with bright conflict and a clear arc that I try to paint.
When the story does grow louder, clearer, I fly. When I dip deep down into the plot and lose track of time, I soar. When I can find a way to surrender, really and truly fall inside of the floors and walls of this imaginary world born into my mind, that is where the real art is for me.
And every time, I also hold to the hope that I've given that world the words it deserves, the phrasing that will change if not someone's life, at least few precious moments of it, for the better.