"The Friendship Quilts" will be the name of the novel that I began during NaNoWriMo. I awoke before 5:00 this morning with a new bit of a twist to the final scene. I had discovered the big twist but this early a.m. revelation was the icing on the cake -- or so I thought. I got up and as soon sa I was properly fueled with coffee and toast and jam, I set to writing the last ten pages -- and discovered another small satisfying twist.
No, it is not a mystery or any other kind of genre novel; it is a literary novel about outsider art and a young woman writing her dissertation on that subject and the men in her life as well as the elderly quilter whose quilts give the novel it's name. I have been working along regularly, finding scene after scene, some complicating the further scenes. Discovering characters that needed to show up and complicate the story. The writing has not always been easy but it was been a pleasure. I am not a 'stare at a blank piece of paper" kind of writer. I write when the idea has been triggered, and then as I write people speak and act in ways I was not anticipating. To this point, with a full size novel, one can imagine, since the first of November until the middle of January, I have not been stumped for more than a day or two.
In Cohen's The Mature Mind, which I wrote about a few days ago, he says that the mature mind is better at conglomerating things, better at pulling together ideas than the younger mind. This seems to have something to do with the ego getting out of the way with the "what if I fail?" scenario and a new pleasure experience. Or maybe I'm interjecting my experience for however he said what he said. I made no outline, I made no character notes, I just wrote the story as it came to me. I have no guarantee that it's any good, of course. I know I have much work to do, going back and interlarding references to people or events that will come up later -- because I didn't know about them the first time through. I know there are awkward scenes and a great deal of flabby writing that needs to be fixed up, strengthened, vivified. But that's all cosmetics; the story satisfies me. I feel good about reaching the end. It is not a big bang and yet it reminds me of the end of a fireworks display with a whole series of little pops before the final burst of color overhead. That is profoundly happifying for a writer.
INTERESTING STUFF – 19 August 2017 - EDITORIAL NOTE: After my surgery in June, I stopped publishing Interesting Stuff on Saturdays. I couldn't spend as much time playing around online for good...
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