21 January 2013

Novel-writing tips from beyond the grave, part II…

Anna DavisAnna Davis Director, CBC Writing School
by Anna Davis Guest Blog, Opinion

Here, oh genius writers, shufflers and whittlers, is our second excerpt from Dorothea Brande’s Becoming a Writer (1934).  Sit back with a cup of tea and some knitting and allow yourself to be transported …

Rhythm, Monotony, Silence

The idea of a book or story is usually apprehended in a flash. At that moment many of the characters, much of the situation, the story’s outcome, all may be – either dimly or vividly – prefigured. Then there is a period of intensive thinking and working over of the ideas. With some authors this is a period of great excitement; they seem intoxicated with the possibilities there before their minds. Later comes a quiescent period; and since almost every writer alive occupies himself in some quite idiosyncratic way in that interlude, it is seldom noticed that these occupations have a kind of common denominator. Horseback riding; knitting, shuffling and dealing cards; walking; whittling; you see they have a common denominator – of three figures, one might say. All of these occupations are rhythmical, monotonous and wordless. And that is our key.

Our third and final Dorothea instalment will follow later this week.

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