For years I have been a writer, an editor and a teacher of creative writing. Now I want to share some of what I have learned along the way. Write On The Fringes is a blog about the dangers, the disappointments and the rewards of writing. It's a record of the writing of a novel, from the tantalising first inklings of an idea, through to the final draft. But above all it's an exploration of the art and the craft of writing and the nature of story, as well as a search for the essence of creativity and the complex nature of truth.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

In the Beginning

The heralding of a new novel begins with a feeling. A new book is coming; far off yet, but I know it's there. This is a beautiful sensation, something akin to the way a woman feels knowing there is a new life growing inside her. There's a satisfaction associated with it, as well as a great sense of mystery. It's a succumbing to a power and a process that is beyond oneself. The enigmatic smile of the Mona Lisa reminds me of this sense; an inner knowing, a looking within. This is what happens when the seed of a novel begins to grow. After that there is an inevitability to the process, in that it is growing towards something and instinctively knows its own way. But of course there are many factors that will help or hinder it on its journey. As a writer, I must gently nurture the tiny seed of an idea until that moment when it struggles out of the darkness seeking the sun.

During this nurturing time, nothing has yet been written but there are flashes of images in my mind, unformulated ideas that hover in the background awaiting their moment. Then there's the synchronicity; a series of clues I must trust and follow in order to find my story: a plot point here, a character trait there, some background research, a theme or simply a glimmer of understanding about what I am writing and why I must write it. . . . The clues appear random and yet they're linked in some way. I pick up a second hand book at a market stall, then another in a book shop, while at a dinner party someone mentions a subject that leads me in a new direction. . . I am being led through a maze of ideas.

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  1. Yay! Great to have your talent, experience and wisdom in the blogosphere. I look forward to reading more from you soon.

  2. Thanks Gab, lets hope I can live up to that!