That Which First Troubled Us
Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 12:30PM
Freddie Owens in Craft Of Writing, Craft of Writing, Tension in Fiction

Hello Everyone!

A brooding thought or two...

Check out Blind Man's Amazon Page I aspire to literary fiction - but I think I may be more of a crusader-novelist than I would like to admit. I haven't written in other genres (or on second thought maybe I have and just don't know it yet) so I really don't know what it would be like to do so. I imagine that genre writers do a good deal more of preplanning, you know, of the sort that requires outlines and careful, even meticulous, attention to things like plot points and how to best position them along the line of the story the better to form 'mind blowing' (hyperbole mine) transitions from beginning to middle to end - all well and exceedingly good no doubt. On the other hand, writing literary fiction - if that is what I am trying to do - seems messier and I think must involve a fair amount of brooding, imagining hairline fractures (where none exist) or just fumbling about aimlessly in the dark. Here's a quote from Eudora Welty that I think speaks to this. From The Eye of the Story / On Plot and The Crusader Novelist: "With a blueprint to work with instead of a vision, there is a good deal that we as the crusader-novelist must be at pains to leave out. Unavoidably, I think, we shall leave out one of the greatest things. This is the mystery of life. Our blueprint for sanity and of solution for trouble leaves out the dark. This is odd, because surely it was the dark that first troubled us." Imagine that. 

As for myself, well, I don't think I could write an outline before writing a book (at least not easily). However, in writing Then Like the Blind Man I remember I had a large flat tabletop covered with scraps of paper and pages of copious notes semi-haphazardly-organized into semblances of chapter sequences, which I would mull over obsessively, from time to time getting rid of whole sections or adding new ones. You might have mistaken me then for the mad but brilliant mathematician John Nash (who RussellAuthor's Amazon Page Crowe played in the movie A Beautiful Mind) with all his walls covered in papers and desperate red lines connecting imaginary dots across miles of paranoid space. But this all happened as I went along - as I wrote. Some of it was like preplanning I suppose but not quite in the same sense. You might recall the comparison (I can't remember where it came from) that describes writing a novel as being like driving at night with headlights. Though you can't see the journey's end, you can see far enough in front to make it. I like that comparison.

Hey everyone, you can view my new author page on Amazon by clicking on the image of myself to the right. Cheers!

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