Thursday, July 28, 2011
The writers out there will know what I mean when I say that the creation of fiction in full flight is not a process you can pin down and understand completely- there's a certain level of indefinable magic or alchemy involved in spinning a story.
When you really hit your stride on a particular scene, when you look up and find that two hours have passed and you can't remember a minute, when you read back over your work and think, "Did that really come from me?"- those are the moments where you know there's something beyond the craft and technique that really can't be identified or explained.
For me, I'm often looking for the magic to hit before I start writing, and if it doesn't, then I feel a bit stuck on the runway. I feel like I can't get into the nuts and bolts without the alchemy occurring first.
But when it comes down to it, the nuts and bolts are necessary to begin almost any magic. Without the practical preparations, the alchemy can't commence.
Like pretty much everyone else on earth, I saw the latest Harry Potter movie last week, and I've also been watching some of the earlier films on cable. In the earlier ones, the nuts and bolts of the magic were plainly spelled out (if you'll pardon the pun). You need your spellbook, your ingredients, your wand, the right words, the right order, the right person to pull it all together, and abracadabra!
You have magic.
Which is, when you think about it, just what happens with fiction, too.
Can you conjure up the magic on a whim? Or do you need to start with the practicalities- like getting words on the actual page- before you feel yourself take flight?
Posted by Claire G at 7/28/2011 04:08:00 AM