Thursday, August 21, 2014

Writing a novel: month 4

I'm going to go ahead and admit that I did not write anything for my novel for most of this month.  But let's not phrase it as "admitting".  Writing is a hobby.  It's not my job.  Writing is more fun than my job.  I can do whatever I want with my hobby, including ignoring it for a month.

This month, I was instead engrossed with another book, The Unconsoled, by Kazuo Ishiguro.  I tend to write on the bus, and also read on the bus, so the time I spend reading and writing negatively correlate with each other.

I may or may not have said before, that Kazuo Ishiguro is one of my inspirations.  He zooms in really close on ordinary social interactions, and reveals the unnameable emotions within.  For example, in one chapter of The Unconsoled, a man explains at great length why he doesn't speak to his (adult) daughter.  When she was a child, she did something to anger him, and it was only meant to be a few days. But there never seemed an appropriate moment to break the silence.  An appropriate moment finally arose when she was grieving her hamster, which she accidentally killed, but he hesitated, and now it seems like speaking to her would disrespect the memory of her hamster.

So good!  Although I would have hated this book in high school.  And it's basically impossible to imitate.

Uh, yeah, so my novel... I will not apologize for taking a break, because my alternate activity was wonderful.  But it was not a permanent break.  I'm getting back into it now, and the fresh perspective is already helping.

My approach with many of these posts about writing has been to discuss an idea I have that I find exciting.  But I'm reconsidering whether this is a good idea, because I worry about building up expectations.  These are cool ideas and all, but it really all comes down to execution.

1 comment:

miller said...

I recommend a book called "narrative design." Read it before you write your novel if you haven't already. Also, there's nothing wrong with traditional linear storytelling; you don't need 50 different characters, 20 different plot lines, and a story that begins "in medias res" to sound "sophisticated" or "complex."
Good luck!
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