Thursday, November 17, 2011

"A novel is a living thing" day 17, 24650

From the NaNoWriMo pep talk from Chris Cleave:
A novel is a living thing and it resists containment within the structures we erect for it. Even worse, the novel has intelligence and it will inevitably turn against its creator. Think of it like the velociraptors in Jurassic Park. The problem is that a good character in a novel will reach a point of maturity where he or she is not necessarily biddable.
What always keeps me going at certain points is when I myself no longer am sure what happens next. When the characters start to tell me things. I used to love when this would happen when I was acting, on rare occasions. Like I would feel that sometimes, I would raise them, create them, materialize them, separate from me and the page and even the fusion of me and the page until there was almost this third thing, this ghost, that haunted the both of us. This universal character that existed apart from the two things that had made it flesh. This is what I love most about the drafting process, that almost Dr. Frankenstein feeling of something lifted from disparate parts to a life of its own. Except hopefully without the villagers, small child killing, and especially without the bolts. They just look painful.

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