This week I’ve decided to give an utterly random project update…
1) The first half of my novel is done!
2) I’m officially onto the second half of my novel!
(yes, I realize this reiterates my first point but I’m excited so I’m throwing the usual writing guidelines into the wind)
3) My novella has a first sentence!
My novella has, thus far, only been a seedling in my mind. It hasn’t had the chance to develop and push it’s tendrils onto the page… until now! (Cue scary, unintended, music here.)
And tell you all about the Crosscurrents event that I happened to attend…
It was awesome. Yes, awesome. Held at one of our museums in town, Crosscurrents is an event that only happens a few times a year. 49 Writers, the local creative writing organization, invites authors to come up to Alaska and speak about their books, how they made it big, and what inspired them to write. I have only attended this one time but quite a few people showed up considering it was a random Wednesday night.
Two authors stopped their hectic lives to chat with each other (and all of us) for an hour. They covered aspects like why they decided to write, how they got into writing, what degree they each received, how often they write, why they wrote their novels, and how to really get into the setting and world (among other things).
The back and forth was enlightening but the one aspect that really stuck with me is this… in response to a ‘how did you make it big?’ question the author of The Snow Child said roughly the following: “The stars aligned. Really though, nothing could have prepared me for it, I did nothing special to get it. I wanted to write this story and so I did.”
Do you know what that all boils down to, fellow readers and writers? You can write about vampires, you can write about werewolves, you can write about magicians with a lightning scar. You may cater to the current wave of fierce magical and fantastical elements in the literature trend today. You may get published. You may make it big. And you may not. When it all boils down to it? Write the story in your mind, get it down on paper, solidify the characters, know the plot, describe the setting, do your best to tell the story the best way you possibly can – write what you want to write. In the end, as long as the story is told, you did good. The piece of advice spoke to me, it’s what I’ve been writing about (and thinking about) these past few blogposts and I’m glad that others feel the same way.
I was wondering, though, have you been involved with a discussion such as this? If so (or if not, for that matter,) what is the best piece of advice you’ve gleaned about writing?
Postscript – By the way, I encourage everyone to attend the writing discussions in your own area, don’t say there isn’t any around – there’s always something somewhere. You just have to look for it. It’s a lovely experience, really.