The Novel Novelist

I mentioned on Facebook I am writing a novel, poetry, and on the back burner is a history or two. My younger sister, who writes children’s books featuring cats, asked what my novel was about. I said I don’t talk about my novel as writing is my talking. She understood, I think… but, what I meant was that when I discuss or talk over a poem or a novel idea, by the time I have finished discussing and talking, the novel has died. It is as though I must write the words or speak the words, ne’er the twain shall meet. Trying to write something creative that has been discussed is like pretending the dead are not. I can discuss histories – I have written a half dozen or so popular histories – but that sort of writing is journeyman work. You organize the book, you present the information in a logical and one would hope, interesting fashion and you put one word after the other until done. Then, of course, you rewrite and edit and if you have the cash, have a real editor look it over (this reminds me of a horror story where a committee of old lady ‘editors’ picked apart a book I was writing, finding every lacking or stray comma over many months of sheerest torture – but I was paid!). But creative writing moves beyond the journeyman stage to that of the Master craftsperson.  This is not to say you cannot insert a bit of creativity here and there in a History – a turn of phrase that gives an author a twinge of pleasure, a picture painted in words of a particular incident or character – yes. But by and large, poetry and the novel are the master’s level of the writer’s work, where you move beyond craft to art.


There, that’s off my chest so I can A. do the dishes and B. write some poetry


see ya!


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