Friday, May 15, 2009

A writing prompt

I have been reading a lot about the process of writing lately.  While looking through different websites I have come across what they call, writing prompts.  A writing prompt is when someone starts a story for you and you have to finish it.  It is supposed to be for people who can't find anything to write about.  

I think that most of the ones I have seen are very boring.  They do not inspire me at all.  I think that I could write  much better prompts than the ones that I have seen.  

As a matter-of-fact, I thought of one last night.  For some reason, I thought of it after reading  the following sentence in Thomas Hardy's book,  Far From the Madding Crowd.  "...he saw a cat inside,  going into various arched shapes and fiendish convulsions."  

Okay, here is my prompt:

Goody Smith has just laid the dinner on the table.  Dogood,  Amity,  and Purity waited for Papa to come in from his study where he was writing a particulary fiery sermon.  After they had all gotten settled,  said grace, and were just getting ready to eat, their cat Tib suddenly sprang onto the middle of the table, sat down and began happily and noisily licking it's nether regions.  Father looked at it for a moment, his face turning red.  Then he swiped it violently from the table and said loudly,    "...........

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Writing again!

This is the Eliphante house in Corkwood, Arizona.  I would put up a link, but I don't know how.  You should check it out!  It was built by an artist completely out of whatever object they could find.  The way things are going for me, the only way I will probably ever own a house is by doing some thing like this.  :"

Well, I'm writing again.  I have finally started a novel and I think I'm going about it the right way this time.  

Let me regress for a moment.  I'm not sure that when I tried to write my tragedy/trinity novel before, that I was actually going about it the wrong way.  It was more a lack of knowledge about the writing process that stymied me I think.  

I know a few things that I didn't know then.  I know that I only want to write children's novels, I'm not interested in writing for adults.  If I had known that when I started Tragedy, it would have helped quite a bit.  

I now know that it is common to start a novel and get halfway through it and suddenly have everything change inside of your head, necessitating in the entire novel needing to be written over again.   And I know that if this happens to you it does not mean you have done something wrong.  

I know now, that writing a novel is very difficult (al least for me) and that when it was flowing easily for me, that was a gift and I know that the trick is to keep writing when things are no longer flowing.  

I know now that if I keep on going, no matter what, I can eventually get something written.  And so that is what I have been doing.  (25,000 words baby!) I am not writing on Tragedy, I have started something else.  I am having a lot of fun writing it.  Something tells me I will get back to Tragedy some day. 

Now:  I wonder if this happens to other writers?  My setting took place in the woods... so I started reading about woods and mountains, plant and animal life, etc... so that I could describe my setting more accurately.  

This eventually made me want wolves in my story and there will probably be bears too,  so I began focusing more on wolves.  Well, this led me to wonder about the evolution of the social behavior of animals and wondering what would happen if generations of animals spent time in human communities;  in which ways they would change?  So this has led me to animal etnology.  (Though I haven't read i yet.  It's on my great, big, getting bigger all the time list.) 

And of course, thinking of a civilization in which mankind and animals interact peacefully and with respect for one another, has led me to put Native American society and religion on my list.  

Somehow out of all of this, I have ended up reading about eco-friendly houses and that is now on my list as well.  In my perusal of the internet, I came across the house near Sedona, Arizona called the Eliphante home above,  and that has been incorporated into my book...oh!  And tree houses!  That look like gigantic japanese lanterns!

Another subject on my list, though I don't think I need to read about this, just think about it, is how language would influence a society.  For instance, a society that had no word for can't orhas 100 words for beauty but only one of ugly.   In other words, what words the society I am imagining right now will or won't have.  

There are other leaps and meanderings as well  but I won't get into all of those.  I'm sure you get the idea.  Besides, I want to go back to my story!

I'm having fun and I feel good because I think I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing.  And when I publish my book and make millions of dollars, I have learned so much about tree houses, that I am going to live in one!  Maybe I'll live next to Angelina Jolie!   (But no pet chimps!)

I plan to put an excerpt up soon, I'm not quite done with it yet.