I've sent off the latest revision of Book Two of the Noor Chronicles and turned in copyedit queries for DRAGON'S KEEP (Harcourt) and TALON (Faber & Faber UK). Now I've come up for air. No looming deadlines this week. Ah.
It's time to begin a new tale. Back to the seed stage. Looking at a tiny little idea that might have great potential. I think of the biblical quote "A grain of wheat remains a solitary grain unless it falls into the ground and dies; but if it dies it bears a rich harvest." John 12:24. There is a kind of death at every stage of the writing process. This first stage requires a letting go of the original idea that's been sheltered in the mind for months or years. Burying it in the real soil of existing things and encouraging it to grow.
I was given a tiny opening this morning. This came out of the Diviners Critique Group meeting from friend and fellow writer Judy Bodmer http://writetoinspire.blogspot.com who stressed the importance of dialogue. I'd envisioned the main character alone in the opening of the book. Now I asked myself, "Can I begin with dialogue? How?" And the scene came whistling around the corner.
This was only a glimpse into the new novel but I can lean into it and see where it goes. I know I can't force anything this early on. Time is needed to allow the roots to grow deep not just in the character's emotions and personhood, but also deep into the new fantasy world where the story is set.
In Out of Africa Isak Dinesen talks about shading the young coffee plants ". . . with branches broken from the bush, since obscurity is the privilege of young things." pg. 7.
What I'm telling myself after racing through so many deadlines is that I need to shade this new seedling of a story and nourish the creative process.
Wherever you are in your writing from early seed stage to final polish, I hope you find a way to nourish your own creative process.
Until the next blog -- Be well.