Thursday, August 28, 2008


I am writing a novel. Everyone has their own process of information gathering and plotting, I guess. I e-mailed my project director, "I'm losing my focus. I'm afraid I can't write this story." She wrote back, "Just get down the first draft. The fun will start when you begin to revise. It'll be OK." It's very nice to have someone to nudge me: Just get down the first draft...It'll be OK."

So I am writing the first draft. Initially I determined that my novel would be about 90 pages, as was Mariama Ba's So Long a Letter. Now I think it will be longer. And I'm trying to get down a first draft although I know that some, perhaps much, of what I am writing will be edited out...chopped from the final draft. I am pulling from my memories. If you read my blog yesterday, you know I watched that Toni Morrison interview about Beloved and noted all of those writing from what I remember.

I read a lot. Writers are supposed to read a lot. And I observe a lot. Writers are supposed to observe a lot. I think I make people uncomfortable when they realize I am observing them. Maybe they think I'm rude, or something far worse. None of us REALLY knows our neighbors well, do we? But I'm using the bits and pieces I find in readings and observations, to weave the tapestry of my tale. And it is fun, as well as hard work. And if THIS part is fun, I can hardly wait to finish the first draft so I can get to the even more fun part of revision.

I make it sound like I haven't done that part before. Maybe it's something a writer thinks about every time (s)he begins writing a new story.

Have I given enough of a peek into what I'm doing to help other writers on their journey? Morrison said to give a little and let the reader bring her/his own emotions with them. Maybe I've said enough for today. It's time for me to get back to,, writing.

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