Stock & Flow

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I came across an interesting blog the other day, and while I’m still reading the archives, one post, in particular, stood out for me.

A Few Notes On Daily Blogging

It stood out because the concept of stock and flow really intrigued me. While I think the concept would be more productive for a non-fiction writer, I think fiction could benefit as well. How? Well, if one is thinking about dabbling in a genre they do not currently write in, the blog could be used as a place to house snippets of scenes in that genre. Bits of conversations, random scene setting…it can all be used as a yardstick…to see if one has something to say in that genre.

Or not.

I think it’s worth a try here, although I don’t expect it to be a daily thing. Perhaps twice-weekly. I suppose it all comes down to how often inspiration strikes.

We’ll see.

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Writing From The Middle and Other Revelations

 

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An essay I read this morning has stunned me.

It was a sizeable piece by Sarah Minor, called What Quilting and Embroidery Can Teach Us About Narrative Form It caught my eye because not only does the craft of writing interest me, but I’m also a fibre crafter. I dabble in cross stitch and am a long-time knitter. So needless to say, I read the essay with high hopes. I’m ashamed to say that I don’t remember most of the piece, but one concept rocked me so much, I had to put down my breakfast and re-read the passage.  Minor wrote,

“This centre could be the most significant or challenging moment in an essay. From there, the process of “piecing” a text, rather than writing it in a straight line, could free the writer from concerns about repetition, foundations, and chronology. “

These two lines made me stop because I’m in the middle of my novel and for many months I’ve been unsure how to proceed. I knew where I wanted to end up, you would think it would be an easy thing to get to the end. But no, I was stumped. And didn’t write a word for six months, not counting grocery lists. I couldn’t see how to write the middle because I was looking at the work in a chronological fashion.

Now, that’s a little odd for me, because some of my best work (in my opinion) has not been written that way. The work I’m proudest of has come to me in snippets of scenes, or conversations between characters, or moments of intense stress and conflict. I write them down, in chunks, and then thread them all together. Rarely has writing in a chronological way ever worked for me.

So why then was I trying to write ‘Infinite Worlds’  in, for me, an un-natural format?

I have no idea.

But it has mired me for six months.

So to read Sarah Minor’s words of wisdom this morning was a lightbulb moment. I read the passage twice before literally leaving my chair with coffee in hand. I went to the window, dog close behind, and stared out at the grey sky. The clouds provided no further wisdom, but it was clear I needed to return to what moved my writing. Not so much write what I know, but write in a way that worked for me.

So that’s the plan.

Now if I could only get to the bottom of Chancellor Roberts…

 

The Lily & The Crown

 

This book is so much more than what I thought, and even though I wanted to stop reading it at some points, I never did. The characters had gotten under my skin too much to abandon them.
At first, I found Ari infuriating. She seems to be withdrawn and insulated, and she is, to a point. But she is also passionate about things she believes in, and courageous when she doesn’t have to be. She has a hidden intellect and feels so much so readily. I liked her far more than I thought I did. And her ‘Assistant’….how many times I wished she’d been given a name when she was so unwilling to share her own. She was crafty and kind, and yet, the reader can always feel the pulse of mystery. You know she’s going to do something, we’re just not sure what. And yet, when the big mystery is finally revealed (even though by that time, we suspect the truth anyway), we aren’t surprised.
I enjoyed that neither of the main characters changed with their circumstances. I liked that Ari asked for her friends’ lives to be spared, even though that came as no surprise either. And I especially enjoyed the ending. I won’t give anything away, but it was the perfect ending for these characters. It was everything I didn’t realize I was hoping for…until I read it and realized I was hoping for exactly that.
And I loved this line the best of all of them…

“We cannot change the world unless we have lived in it”