Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Writing Process: Heartfelt Writing

The basis of my topic has been to take the myth out of novel writing.
I have repeatedly reminded you that you don't have to live a huge glamourous life in order to be inspired. In fact, even the most fantastic experience, the most extravagant happening will fall flat if the writing of it is done without the connection to your heart, and to your spirit. Truly great writing will shine through the saddest of grammar, the most limited of vocabulary. All these things can be fixed and improved upon - they are the mechanics an can be learned.

What cannot be learned, what must be felt is the passion. It takes courage to write truly inspiring prose.

Until now I have based my topic on my novel The Cloths of Heaven. Here I include an excerpt from another of my novels (not yet published) Trash Fire.

You can see here that I have used perfectly normal events, and made them special by attaching my emotion to them.



Madeline led her out to the car. Have you ever been in the heart of Connemara before? She asked.

Julie shook her head. Only to Clifden, but then everybody has been to Clifden.

You’ll love our farm. Utterly isolated, but with the advantage of electricity, and good sanitation. We grow our own vegetables, of course, and never eat meat. Bread we bake, though we do buy the flour from the health food store in town.

And Julie did love it. She loved the smell of the peat and the dew in the early morning, fresh and vitalising. She loved the sight of the mauve mist over the black velvet mountains. She loved the feel of the damp, cold grass beneath her naked feet. And when she listened carefully she could hear the bleating sheep on a distant valley and the trickle of the mountain stream. Peace at last.

She helped in the vegetable garden, plucking the weeds from between the onion shoots. She hoed the thick, compacted soil loose so new crops could be planted. She harvested the beans and carrots, the food they would eat in the evenings.

She thought of her own garden, back home. Hers and only hers. The only gardening Dick did was mowing the lawn and then only on the sunniest of days. And because the mowing was his task he had purchased a motor mower for himself. He had wanted to buy one that he could sit on, and steer, so that all he had to do was take care that he drove in a straight line, and gulp beer from a can.

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