Sunday, January 11, 2009

A writer's tool kit

How do you imagine a writer creating a master piece? Cloistured away in a tiny writing haven, clanking away on typewriter or key board or sitting in the garden with a moleskin journal and fountain pen? Me, mostly I sit at the kitchen table amongst the daily paper, someone's empty plates, a box of tissues, a sprawled stack of videos due to go back to the store, my water bottle, lolly papers (some of them mine), the telephone book and crumbs from my toast.

I also have at the ready the following: The book of historical atlases (see previous post) newly discovered, Macbeth, The Oxford companion to Scottish History, Scotland the Making of a kingdom, a dictionary (though is way quicker), a fabulous wee pocket theasuaras which is falling apart but I refuse to upgrade, a warm blanket to wrap around me (this is Dunedin), and copious cups of tea (I'm on to my fifth in three hours). I also have two rolled face clothes to go under my wrists to minimise oos (thanks Annie's mum for the suggestion - doctors can be so handy!)

As I type, I talk, much to the annoyance of the whanau, especially if they want to watch telly. As I edit, I read aloud. This is what I'm doing at the moment and osolate between absolute joy as I rediscover brilliant sections I've written to despair when I read the cliched dribble I've written - needless to say, that is hacked out or reworked (thanks to wee book mentioned above).

The things which keep going through my head as I re-read this SFD are these: be mean - don't rescue (you'll be impressed Fleur); show, don't tell; why: does he do that? think that? say that?; remember the heart of the story: love and honour.

Anyway, I'm editing chapter 18 where Fleance has found a most interesting piece of information. Best I get back to him and his stroppy horse before he gets himself in more strife.

1 comment:

Vanda Symon said...

Isn't it great being mean to our poor characters?! Heh, heh.