12 October 2009

Writing fiction

  • There are a number of links in this entry. Click to go there, use the back button to come back.
I am endeavouring to construct a novel located around where I live but also (as one of the characters advised me in June) in China.

Here is a piece I wrote in January, as the drawing and painting transformed my writing.

Here a fragment written in March, beginning to build a voice and rhythm and style.
-- noting Italo Calvino's insight:
The novella is like a horse, a means of transport with its own pace, a trot or a gallop according to the distance and ground it has to travel over; but the speed Boccaccio [in text he just quoted] is talking about is a mental speed. The listed [by Boccaccio] defects of the clumsy storyteller are above all offenses against rhythm, as well as being defects of style, because he does not use the expressions appropriate either to the characters or to the events. In other words, even correctness of style is a question of quick adjustment, of agility of both thought and expression.
Italo Calvino, Six Lessons for the Next Millenium, Vintage edition 1988, p 39.
You see how I went looking for rhythm on that train (not horse) - link above.

Here is the current (October 2009) opening chapter, placing the reader in the head of an 18 year old returning to Beijing with her mother from a labour prison in 1975, late in the Cultural Revolution.

And here is an excerpt from a later turning-point in the book (which will not all be in second person)

... getting away from old areas of writing, like this. There is also the challenge in fiction that, unlike a speech, the novel writer must not preach, must not teach, must find other means to express ideas and make minds go tick tick boing

Photo taken Eyre Peninsula, 2006, life has risks, follow the sign...