Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Quick Inspiration

Focus on the scene.

I was re-reading John Gardner's fine book, The Art of Fiction (Vintage Books), and found some inspiration relevant to some work I've been doing with one of my clients.

From Pages 68-69:
"In fleshing out his characters, the writer does not ordinarily think out every implication of every image he introduces at the time he introduces it.  He writes by feel, intuitively, imagining the scene vividly and copying down its most significant details, keeping the fictional dream alive, sometimes writing in a thoughtless white heat of 'inspiration,' drawing on his unconscious, trusting his instincts, hoping that when he looks back at it later, in cool objectivity, the scene will work."

I love this because he points out, not once but twice, the importance of "scene."  Great fiction (or narrative non-fiction) requires a series of coherent, compelling scenes.

Write in the moment.  Live the scene.  If you do that, and do it well, the reader will live the scene too.  Then you will have succeeded.

Write on, build your own scenes, and remember:
To write well, you must work hard.  To succeed in this tough gig, you mustn't be lazy.

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