Feather in a Bubble: thoughts on crafting a novel

 

Rainy day. Good for writing. Good for contemplation. And I’m doing more of… guess what?

There’s a fragile glass ornament hanging from my floor lamp. It’s an ostrich feather enclosed in an oval glass bubble. I love this piece. It makes me think. The sunlight from my window makes every furry tendril of the feather come  alive. It lives and breathes. The feather wants to fly.

My biggest challenge as a writer is learning how to contain the story. I am chock full of stories. They roll right off the top of my head. No problem there. To harness the stories, thread them on a central vein (the theme) and keep my writing airy and alive   takes work. The enclosed glass form holds everything in. That is the form of the novel.

Hopefully with a little luck  I can pull this off.  What a miraculous feeling it is to get the feather inside the bubble. How do you contain a story? There are tricks and techniques, but most of all, it takes hard  work. That reminds me– time to get back to my writing.

But first tea…

Happy Tuesday, dear friends!

My Writing Bibles

STEPHEN KING On Writing I have never read Stephen King, but I love this book. Read it several times. It really helped ground me in the writing process. King does not bullshit. He comes from the school of hard knocks. He can be so damn funny – like side-splitting funny! Who would have thought! I expected him to be a morose and gloomy character. No way!

FRANCINE PROSE Reading like a Writer: This book helped me develop a discerning eye for reading. It does somewhat spoil the joy of just losing yourself in a story but eventually you get beyond that. It is great way to understand the stuff good writing is made of. It’s humbling and inspiring at the same time.

ANNE LAMOTT Bird by Bird: A joyous and hilarious read,  full of warm humanity. This book taught me not to take myself too seriously: not to get “too sexy for my shirt”. When writers become prima donnas, they are no longer any fun. Read the chapter on “Jealousy”. If you as a writer have not felt this way one time or another – you are a saint!

What books have helped you develop your craft  or shaped your philosophy as a writer? Please share!