Wednesday, November 17, 2010

the research lull

It never fails that a crucial moment in my writing where the story is flowing, the dialogue is working well, the pieces are finally coming together, I hit a research lull

What I mean by that is, I come to a paragraph where I want to use imagery and show a deeper meaning but I want to do it subtly. The result: a research lull. It's the name I've given to the time that I spend NOT writing my story, but instead, trying to find out everything I can about a flower, or a historical event, or even a surname. Then, after the lull, I have the daunting task of using what I've learned in my novel without it looking forced or unrealistic or even worse, RESEARCHED!

So far, I've enjoyed the lulls, if for no other reason than the fact that I get to discover new things, things that but for my writing, I might have never known. Plus, these lulls keep me sane while I'm writing as they offer a little break, some time to breathe and think away from the words themselves.

Research never felt so good!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

dialogue delights

I've come to realize that what I do best is write dialogue

maybe it's because I'm a loudmouth

strike that-maybe it's because I enjoy getting to know people

reverse that- I think it's because I like for people to get to know me

Willy Wonka speech aside, dialogue is what I do best in life and on the page. For the first time while writing, I can see how my day to day interactions with people are influencing what I write, and HOW I write it. Yes, I know, most writers do this, they write what they know, blah blah blah.

But for me, I'm not writing what I know, I'm writing how we TALK about what we know. This explains to a certain extent why I'm drawn to the writing of Charles Baxter or the short stories of Raymond Carver. The dialogue makes the story just like it colors my life.

And, this is not me being experimental or original. It's all been done before, but this is me finding my voice. My protagonist has found his voice...and for a writer, there is nothing better.