I have always thought writing to be a lonely career. I envisioned great writers to be social pariahs, shunning social events for their craft. I imagined them scribbling away all hours of the day and night at desks in dusty rooms filled with books.
But while this may be the case for some, many famous authors would spend hours talking and working with other artists, poets and writers. An example would be the ‘Lake Poets’ Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey who lived and worked together at the turn of the 19th century.
This is also true in the present day, where we gain so much from a sense of community as writers and artists. Whether it is meeting face to face for writing groups or sharing our stories online, we are able to connect with each other and learn from each other.
Most people write to share with others, to entertain or to connect through similar experiences. By reaching out through a story you create a bond between yourself and the reader.
Writing is far from being a lonely endeavour, it is what brings people together from all manner of different backgrounds and allows us to communicate with each other.
Without the support, the inspiration and even the criticism that other writers give me, I would probably watch a lot more TV.
I finished my novel a few weeks ago, before I put it aside and dealt with the stressful experience of moving house.
Now that I am settled into my new home, I have to try and focus on editing the novel – which I am finding more traumatic than the house move!
I feel as though I am stripping the story of all its erratic, rambling eccentricity and taking away its ‘voice’.
I have to be careful not to reduce the novel to a silent shell but focus on trying to put it back together stronger than before.
What makes the reader keep reading after the first page? The first Chapter?
What keeps the reader reading when they should go to bed or when their favourite program comes on TV?
I throw my poor characters into the middle of a crisis from page one. I hope the reader will stay long enough to find out if they are OK but they don’t know the characters well enough to care yet.
Writing is a manipulators game. Trying to buy the readers curiosity or empathy with promise of adventure or love.
I need to learn The Game and give my characters the best chance at life.
I always feel like I am in a race against my natural tendency to leave writing projects half done.
I can see the end in sight but then I rush towards the finish line instead of taking my time.
I know I am going to have to edit and edit again before a piece is completely finished, but I can’t help thinking that I am making more work for myself by trying to charge through it!
At least when the main story is down on paper I will have the foundations to build on.
I read Stephen King’s ‘Dolores Claiborne’ straight after ‘Gerald’s Game’ purely by coincidence, without realising the connection between them. So it was a surprise to find the ‘tie ins’ between the books, for example when Dolores shared a telepathic connection with Jessie from Gerald’s Game, once during the solar eclipse and later when Jessie is handcuffed to the bed.
It was exciting to discover these literary Easter Eggs and it made reading the books more interactive, as I looked out for more connections between
other novels. I think it is also Stephen King’s secret bonus system to reward those readers that pay enough attention or read enough of his books!