Tuesday, November 16, 2010

to write a novel

I have been thinking about writing a novel. Problem. I don't know what I'm going to write about. I dream about the day I will be struck with that golden idea.... an idea that has the depth to last for two hundred or more pages.

I have had thoughts on what to write a novel on, and sometimes I think they have potential. But I worry that its me, not the idea. I don't know that I will ever have the skill or stamina to write an epic story. My efforts have been short and brief at best. Probably two pages.

How do I become Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Victor Hugo, Charles Dickens, C.S. Lewis, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Ernest Hemingway, etc.? Maybe by not watching television, wasting time on the internet, etc. Regardless of how I currently spend my time, how I can I shape my mind to think like a novelist?

I like thinking about the book Les Miserables for the purpose of novel idea formation. This story has one of the best redemptive story lines, ever. It paints a beautiful picture of the human condition and the effects of grace without being heavy handed. I would love to write a story like that... a story that is full of grace, true to life (Flannery O'Connor-esque if need be)... real.

I want write about characters that are full, so well-developed that they rise from the pages and permeate your imagination. They stay with you, you reference them, you admire them, you loathe them, you love them.

I want to write a story that is familiar, in that it reminds you of life, of people you know. But it is unexpected, it looks at things from another viewpoint.

Les Miserables is a masterpiece, as well as all the other books by the authors I have mentioned. I doubt that I could ever light a candle next to those brilliant fires. I do want to try and write one good story before I die though.

Just writing this now brought to mind an idea I had long forgotten about... maybe I'll kick it around this time, sketch it out. You never know.

1 comment:

  1. I, too, dream about the day an idea for a novel strikes me! I have doubts, same as you. But others do it....why not us, right?