Monday, August 6, 2007

The Write Recipe

I haven't been to Shannon Hale's blog for ages, but I found something there that I could readily agree with. Currently I'm in the process of writing a novel (for those of you who read my project "The Lizard King" I've finished with it--it became a rather long short story; I'm happy with its length and the way things turned out--so I probably won't write anymore lizard-y-ness), and it feels like (to Luna Lovegood-ize it) being attacked by nargles and wrackspurts every five minutes. One minute it feels fun and wonderful, and the next it feels like I'm writing it all wrong.
But anyway, here's what I found:

When you read a book, it seems obvious that this had to happen in order for
this to happen, or that character had to be a certain way or the writing style
had to be thus in order for the story to work. But when you're writing it from
scratch...well, the only way for me to describe it is through metaphor. It's
like saying to someone, "You know how to scrabble eggs, make chocolate chip
cookies, and chili. So obviously you know how to cook. Now I want you to make
chicken pompeii. It should taste like this. There's no recipe, and I can't tell
you what's in it or even show you a picture of what it'll look like when it's
done, but you'll find what you need at the grocery store. Also, there are live
alligators at the grocery store. Good luck!"

--Shannon Hale at Squeetus


Bohae said...

"Amen" ;) Yes, I read that part on her website, and I totally agree. It's a journey, writing is. But it's one I would never give up on.


(And this is an instance where you CAN say never :)

Anidori-Isilee said...

So true. Shannon is amazing.

I agree, Bohae. I would never give up on writing.

Perhaps I should write a blog post about my own personal writing beliefs and experiences....

Sookie said...

Bohae: I agree. I could never give up writing. Even if I'm never, once in my life, published. When I wrote this in an essay once for an English teacher--she said that this was a true sign of a writer--because writers are writers first and authors second.

Anidori: That's a good idea!

Bohae said...

:D I <3 writing x 100000000000000000000000000000

Cassie said...

That is so perfect and a great explanation of writing. Its true, it so easy to look at a book you are reading and go "Well of course that had to happen!" where as when you're writing, you're more often going "What the f*ck is gonna happen next???? How are they supposed to escape using only two pigs, a roll of ducttape, and a fairy wish (where the wish can't be directly to escape)??? Oh, of course! The crazy woman they met in chapter 3! Maybe she gave them something else that could help... (flip back to chapter 3 and rewrite it)" ... and rinse and repeat.

... Or maybe thats just how my crazy mind works -_-