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poliphilo: (Default)
I love writing the crisis of a story. I find it just tumbles out onto the page. Fights, chases, emotional confrontations- brilliant!

Writing the build-up to crises is also fun, but more time-consuming.

Description is hard work. Descriptive passages can easily become boring to the reader. You've got to select the details that count. And cut and cut and cut.

I love writing dialogue. At times it's like you're channeling the characters. They run ahead of you and come up with all sorts of things that take you by surprise.

Revision is the worst. I spent hours this morning smoothing out transitions and filling out descriptions in the latest installment of [livejournal.com profile] purchas
I could have roughed out an entire action sequence in the time it took me to fettle one short, scene-setting paragraph.
poliphilo: (Default)
The novel- Purchas- has been running a week.

I started off with a single idea. I wanted to explore the life of an Immortal. I decided that my hero(ine) would be a child who swallows the elixir of life by accident.

And that's all I knew when I started to write.

I set myself the task of posting it in daily installments on LJ. The first week's worth are on display now at [livejournal.com profile] purchas. I'm afraid the format dictates that one has to read from the bottom up. Sorry about that. It's rather jerky, but there you go....

The novel is part fantasy, part history. The year is 1482 and all the details are, so far as I can make them (thank you, thank you, Google!) historically accurate.

I know what happens next. Just about. At present I have two or three installments in hand. What happens further on is very, very cloudy. But I trust my characters. They will tell me how their story is meant to go. I have the feeling that the entire saga already exists, in some form, somewhere, and that it's being unveiled to me bit by bit.

I don't know how long I'll keep it up. I envisage the present novel running for 60,000+ words and after that there'll still be 500 years to go. But whether I write the sequels is hardly up to me. If Purchas wants to tell me about her post-medieval adventures she will, and if she doesn't she won't. But I've let her know that I'm very, very eager to learn about her meetings with Cagliostro and the Count de St Germain in Paris in the 1770s...
poliphilo: (Default)

Ladies and gentlemen, an announcement...

The novel I mentioned in the last post has become an lj project. I shall be posting it as I write it at [livejournal.com profile] purchas

Please feel free to comment and proof-read and make helpful comments.

This is going to be a little like crossing Niagara on a tight-rope,

Wearing a blindfold.....
poliphilo: (Default)
Well I never, I think I may have a project for 2006. Yesterday lunchtime we watched a movie about a family who drank from a magic spring in an American wood and were thereafter cursed with immortality. Great idea, poorly developed and explored- but it was a Disney movie so what can you expect? Anyway, it left me wanting to tell the true story- and by nightfall I'd written the first page. This could turn into a novel or even a series of novels. Or it could dribble on for a few more pages and die. I don't know, but right now it feels like fun.

The guys in the movie took their fateful draught in the late 18th century. My character does it sometime during the middle ages. I want to have lots and lots of hstory to play around with.

The working title is Purchas.
poliphilo: (Default)
Writing is better than drugs. You go through that door and you're making your own world. No, that's wrong; it makes itself and you're just there to ensure that certain rules- grammar, plausibility- are being observed.

Only sometimes you can hammer and hammer on that door and it won't open.
poliphilo: (Default)
We all want to leave something behind when we die- a name, a family, a book. For much of my life my ambition was to write at least one poem that would find its way into the anthologies.
I realize now that this is unlikely to happen.

"To invoke posterity is to weep on one's own grave." It's ridiculous to want to live on after death, so what atavism is at work here? Is there some evolutionary imperative being served?
poliphilo: (Default)
Where do works of art come from? One thing is certain, you can't force them. In 8 1/2, Guido's creativity only starts working after he shrugs off the monstrous sci-fi project (that skeletal tower) that he's been trying to strong-arm into existence. The last novel I wrote began with a single image- a group of men moving a huge cannon along a country road. I didn't know who they were or what it meant, but I gave the image my attention and bit by bit a whole world coalesced around it.


poliphilo: (Default)

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