Friday, October 24, 2008

Conversation with Oneself

I am nearing the end of the audio book 'Kim'. I consider it one of the best books that I have read despite the racial tint due to imperialism. But that's also it's charm as it speaks of a past age long gone. I know that it's a love of books that drives me to be a writer. Also the love of writing and expression. But it's the organized process of a novelist that I lack. In fact it is something like an organized procedure that manages the creative process. It's this part where I should educate myself and gain the skill. Indeed, I lack the mental clarity and inherent organization needed so I need more external tools and methodology to succeed.

I am reading David Morell's book on being a successful novelist. I like the idea of writing by having a conversation with oneself. I am doing that already with my journal or blog but need to apply the same principle to writing a novel. According to him, having a conversation to oneself is where one can draw out the details of the plot, characterization, theme and other such details that need to be threshed out for a novel. Hence, the act of writing a novel does not necessarily translate into the writing of the novel itself.

So 'writing' a novel calls for the act of drawing out the story from oneself, to discuss with oneself the possible story and characters. This way one has the actual details already written out. This is the first phase where 'writing' can begin until the book had formed in one's mind and in the pages of the so-called 'conversation' notes. This is where tools like New Novelist come into hand. The tool allows the writer to record these notes or conversation into a form that can be referenced when the actual work begins. In fact, it can begin as well by dictating although it is silly talking to oneself so one needs to get used to it.

In fact, the creative act of writing entails this 'conversation with oneself' where the book start to take shape before the actual writing of the novel begins. I have been trying to combine both activities at once wherein the 'conversation with oneself' is done in the mind and once done, writing can begin. So the conversation with oneself should be a writing activity as well. Or a dictation. The goal is to bring out the story from oneself instead of leaving it within the mind with the constant churning of thoughts. So there is the different breakup of activities with their own specific purposes.

This is the organized structure of the creative writing process, where the writer attempts to 'write' down the structure, story, characters of the novel without beginning with the actual writing of it. Of course, different writers work differently and great writers perhaps like Hemingway can begin straight off. But I do not have such talent and I need to proceed within an organized structure using tools like New Novelist to help me create the novel. I did not realize the full significance of this tool until I started to learn more about the act of writing.

So this is the realization for me and I now have a better idea of the skills that I need to acquire to be a writer. I think the process of drawing out the story or having a written 'conversation with oneself' are all an act of expression without the actual writing of the book. I think the insight is that I am already doing this act by journal writing or blogging and that I should apply it to the act of writing a novel. Perhaps my experiences at Toastmasters have helped psychologically as it has also drawn me out of myself via public speaking. It has helped me express myself and given me confidence in expresing my ideas and thoughts.

So my love of books have given me the appreciation of the finished product. Real examples of plot, characters and story and the beauty of the written word. It is the enjoyment of the story and the learning of new things, to see new worlds and to broaden one's horizon. I guess the act of reading or writing helps develop a facility to be a writer and moving forward this goal requires the understanding of the steps I just mentioned. I guess books also drives oneself to experience the world, like grasping the existence read in books and as a fodder for the future novelist in his novels. The danger is falling into a life of indulgence which is well explained in 'Kim' by the old llama when speaking about life in general.

No comments: