Life is a bit stressful at the moment – imminent house move
– to name but one pressure point.
However, through all the turmoil, I’m managing to keep
writing – thank the deities. It’s a most therapeutic activity and is keeping me
as close to sane as I can ever claim to be. I’ve kept this blog going, I’ve
written my ‘Words With Jam’ contributions. (I hope everyone’s seen the latest issue
with the JK interview – the magazine is now available in print as well as
AND I’ve made good
progress with my children’s novel.
So I thought I’d post a progress report.
The first draft is almost finished. I can’t believe how much
I’ve enjoyed writing it. I was very resistant to writing for children, despite
my profession as a primary school teacher. But while I was in the middle of
writing my second novel for adults, the idea for the children’s story appeared
unbidden. It wouldn’t go away. So I had to suspend the grown-up novel, get over
my resistance and get to work on the young folks’ book.
I’ve found it to be quite a different experience from
writing my first novel. I’ve gone from being a planner to a ‘pantster’ (as in,
flying by the seat of my pants). This time I began writing with only the seed
of an idea and no real notion of where I was heading. Whereas the first time
round I had detailed plans and a carefully worked out plot – although there
were surprises along the way – this time I just wrote. And, luckily the story flowed
and developed spontaneously.
I’m not saying that I have a crisp, coherent and captivating
read yet. It’s more like I have a lump of roughly chiselled stone and now the
really hard work of chipping away, shaping and smoothing begins. The process
for the first novel was more akin to that of a draughtsman/artist – building up
to the finished artefact from detailed plans and sketches with precision
brushwork. But this time it will be more of a paring down from a block of (I
hope) beautiful raw material.
The hammering stage will be finished this month and I will
take up the chisel later in the year. In between – as well as moving house – I need to dust off
my brushes and get back to my older people’s novel.
Okay – I know when I’ve done a metaphor to death – so I’ll
take off my artist’s smock and go write another house move to-do list.
12 thoughts on “Writing as Sculpture – chiselling down”
Sounds like your figuring it out and have a sound direction. It is very different writing for kids. You totally have to switch gears mentally. Good luck!
Yes – it’s very different. Thanks for the good luck wishes, Lara.
well done on the first draft, Anne. Look forward to reading the finished work.
Good luck with the move, and the polishing.
I am constantly astounded by how I start with nothing – sometimes not even an idea, but I make myself sit down and start writing, and somehow a story just appears! Yes, it’s very rough and ready and needs a lot of chiselling later, as you say, but where do they come from?
Yes our creativity is an amazing thing. Thanks for stopping by, Clare
IME It’s not the writing, it’s the editing & then the rewriting. Last–and best of all–the cutting.
Take out everything that’s not absolutely necessary & you (& the reader) will have the best possible experience.
Thanks, Ruth – you’re absolutely right.
I’m also a pantster and love your description of it. In the next four weeks I shall finish my first draft an then I shall be chiselling. Love it! Good luck with the second draft.
So we’ll be chiselling simultaneously 🙂 Thanks, Rebecca – all the best with your writing.
Oh well done with the draft and good luck with the chiselling and the move.
Thanks, Martha 🙂