I'm composting right now. Percolating. Tilling. Whatever you want to call it. Sorting through pages (and pages and pages) of notes from four years of keeping this project in the back of my mind. Now it's finally time to write the thing, and I'm overwhelmed by all the threads I'm trying to pull together. Not to mention notebooks.
Do you have any idea how many different notebooks I have to jot down ideas in? A little one for my handbag, one for my backpack, one (or six) by the bed, one under the couch, and a journal in the car. Keep in mind most of these are half-empty, randomly jotted with . . .whatever. The notebook are populated with mental riffraff, all trying to bring down the "Establishment"through sheer disorganization. If these notebooks are any indication of what's going on inside my brain, we're all in trouble. I have to go back through them and drag in for questioning all the rebels that may have info on my current WIP. So far they have tried to confuse me with conflicting plot points, character motivations and bits of scene that have no home. (I'd love to hear your composting stories. What do you all do in the pre-writing stage?)
I'm having fun, though. I'm turning into quite the interrogator.
The surprising thing was, interspersed throughout my recalcitrant ramblings, I found these little gems gathered from people I really need to be listening to. So here it is, the point of my post:
It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, but why he does it. -A.W. Tozer
What makes one story more "finished"--more "real" and "alive"-- than another is not a matter of adjectives per sentence, it is the accuracy and relevance of whatever description you do use. -Monica Wood (Description)
The stories that astonish us, the characters that live forever in our memories--those are the result of rich imagination, perceptive observation, rigorous interrogation, and careful decision-making. When it comes to storytelling, invention is the mother of astonishment, delight and truth. -Orson Scott Card (Characters & Viewpoint)
When we see a natural style, we are quite amazed and delighted, because we expected to see an author and find a man. -Blaise Pascal
...What (we remember) would turn out itself to be a remembering. The books or the music in which we though the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things--the beauty, the memory of our own past--are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself, they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited. -C.S. Lewis (The Weight of Glory)
Feel free to share more wisdom in the comments section. I have plenty of room in my notebooks. :)