There are quite a number of relatively successful novels that I find to be nothing more than thinly-veiled autobiographies. Surely there are others out there who share my sentiment when they come across some book that smells like nothing more than the re-imagination of the author’s life. [ Cont'd ] →
When I entered the classroom to begin another semester of workshopping my fiction, I felt a gentle warmth in my body. I smiled, which I rarely do. I said hi to a classmate from the prior semester, which I don’t ever do. What I was feeling was love. I felt like I was at home. I felt like that was the room in which I would do my life’s work. I was in the company of like-minded individuals with whom I shared a particular talent and passion. And, as anyone who knows of my novel would know, this was one rare moment in my life that I did not feel lonely. I was content, happy. [ Cont'd ] →
After all these years dedicated to developing mg writing skills, I find that I most often draw inspiration from the real world–and heavily so. Without the real world to stimulate my mind, I find it difficult to write about much of anything. Therefore it can be said that I am not truly creating anything. Rather, I am simply remixing things I see in real life and elevating mundane life into art.
Though it is certainly a pursuit worthy of merit, I cannot help but feel that I am not achieving my full potential. I feel limited by my lack of imagination. There was an entire segment of my novel that was completely fictionalized, a wholly creative world. But it fell flat and I felt as though it were not dramatically heightened enough. I ditched it in pursuit of writing a new segment that was inspired by an event that happened in my real life. I felt more creative connection with the new segment because it seemed to fit my novel better in regards to the themes and tone. But I worry that I will be imprisoned by my lack of imagination.
Last year, when I was studying a text on cultural anthropology, I found myself thinking that it is a poorly written textbook. I found myself trying to mentally rewrite the textbook such that it makes more sense to me. And then a thought occurred to me: academic progress has been stalled by bad writing. [ Cont'd ] →
I awoke this morning with nothing to do, so I flipped on my television to Starz. Much to my delight, Gus Van Sant’s Finding Forrester was playing. The stagnation in my writing habits were quickly lifted away when Forrester began speaking to Jamal about writing. Of the process, he says that a writer must just write. “No thinking,” he instructs Jamal. “The first draft is written with the heart,” he says. Continuing with great relish, he says, “Your revision is written with the brain.” [ Cont'd ] →