Wednesday, November 3, 2010
"Fiction is more than a recitation of facts or author embellishments. It is reality surprised. It shakes us up and makes us see familiar in new ways. Fiction is like wrestling with angels--you do not expect to win, but you do expect to come away from the experience changed."--Jane Yolen
The day started out with the surprise of a spectacular dawning sky on what I thought would only be gray reality on my morning walk. Then, in preparation for a day of revision, hoping to come much closer to the final chapter, I picked up one of my favorite books on writing, Jane Yolen's Take Joy, A Writer's Guide to Loving the Craft, and discovered the above quote. No better inspiration to set the stage for tweaking and tightening--wrestling if you will--with words. A day at the desk, or BIC (a term coined by Jane for "butt-in-chair"), turned out to be a fun experience. I may not have "won"--but I did come away with a number of improvements when some of what had become familiar flipped around and wanted to be expressed in surprising new ways.
And then imagine my surprise when, in surfing a few writers' blogs, I found word about an interview with Jane Yolen at Alice Pope’s SCBWI Children’s Market Blog. Here Alice further links readers to Martha Brockenbrough who offers a great talk with this author of over 300 books and counting (and also the second author ever to join SCBWI back in 1971). On Martha's post is also a video interview, where Jane discusses writing in general and also reads from her book, How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night. It's a real treat--a "reality surprise," of its own. You might want to check it out.
All in all, a good day.
How about you? Any "reality surprised" events happening in your world? I bet there's a lot of that for those who are participating in NaNoWrMo (National November Writing Month), where--from last count--172,000 participants in this "seat-of-the-pants approach to novel writing" have signed up. The goal here is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. I didn't sign up but I cheer on those hardy souls who have!
May all your surprises this November be happy ones.