Meredith Sue Willis on Writing Novels

Meredith Sue Willis on Writing Novels

Meredith Sue Willis on Writing Novels
Meredith Sue Willis is the creator of a e-book on writing novels, Ten Strategies to Write Your Novel, in addition to a variety of novels, kids’s books, quick story collections, and nonfiction books. Some of her different books for writers embody Deep Revision: A Guide for Teachers, Students, and Other Writers; Blazing Pencils: A Guide to Writing Fiction and Essays; and Personal Fiction Writing: A Guide to Writing from Real Life for Teachers, Students & Writers.

We requested Meredith Sue Willis about writing novels and her most up-to-date e-book about writing.

A Conversation with Meredith Sue Willis

Q: You have printed each novels and quick story collections. When you may have an concept for one thing you wish to write, what tells you whether or not it needs to be a novel or a brief story? Could you discuss some variations within the technique of writing novels and writing tales?

A: Often my novels develop out of tales that expanded like amoebae strolling. Others of my tales are outtakes from novels — items that, once more, started to develop and not appeared to slot in the novel. I saved them and finally turned them into tales.

Sometimes, although, I’ll have an concept to strive one thing intense and even experimental that I do know I could not maintain for an entire novel– usually it is a voice, like St. Augustine’s concubine. I had a good time together with her for fifteen or twenty pages, but it surely was clearly not going to be a novel. I imagine it is advisable to know extra in regards to the quotidian world for a novel, whereas a brief story could be like a flash of lightning, intense and illuminating, but it surely’s a glimpse, not even the phantasm of an entire world.

I’m now writing a sequence of tales known as Feral Grandmothers that are nearly all experimental in tone or sorts of characters not like me. The fundamental factor for me is the pleasure of going backwards and forwards, rediscovering a factor I had laid apart, arising with one thing solely completely different from my normal expertise and writing, or seeing some little concept develop bigger and bigger as I discover a brand new world.

Q: “Separate process and product” is the primary technique provided in your e-book Ten Strategies to Write Your Novel. Could you discuss a bit about what you imply by the distinction between course of and product and what occurs when starting writers fail to separate the 2?

A: What occurs when a starting author fails to separate course of and product is that she (and those who get caught like this are sometimes ladies although in fact not at all times) begins criticizing her unfinished work and sees how hopelessly unfinished it’s, and will get blocked. Or, he’ll spend so lengthy sharpening his magnificent first sentence that he by no means writes a second. Essentially, it is about critiquing and sharpening too quickly.

Q: At the start of Ten Strategies to Write Your Novel, you clarify that the method of writing novels doesn’t essentially need to be linear. Could you describe another strategy to writing novels?

A: One strategy I like, which I feel I invented, however you by no means know, known as the Archipelago Method. You write the excessive factors, not an overview, however precise scenes, and people develop into the little islands (which can be actually mountaintops) of the archipelago on the market within the ocean of the potential novel. After you’ve got written 5 – 6 of those scenes, you could properly have fifty or sixty pages, after which you may preserve writing scenes, otherwise you would possibly begin at the start to see results in one, to the subsequent, and so on.

Q: In Ten Strategies to Write Your Novel, you say {that a} widespread issue when writing novels is working out of momentum. Could you talk about that a bit of? What are some methods to keep up momentum by the entire novel-writing course of?

A: It’s simply that novels are so very lengthy — and life goes on throughout the months and even years it takes to write down one. You could even (briefly) run out of concepts.

My personal technique which I do not precisely advocate, but it surely does work for me, is to have quite a lot of initiatives going on the identical time. I simply, for instance, completed a fairly last draft of a younger grownup novel, however whereas I used to be drafting it, I wrote a number of tales, and tinkered with an outdated novel I’d laid apart and in addition wrote Ten Strategies (primarily based on educating notes). For me, it is like having a number of completely different sorts of studying matter on the mattress aspect desk. I like selection, and I come again to every mission refreshed.

Q: In Ten Strategies to Write Your Novel, you say {that a} novelist “must learn to sink into the process of creating.” Could you discuss a bit about what you imply by this? What are some strategies for reaching that immersion within the course of?

A: It is not straightforward to search out time to write down you probably have a job, have a family– and particularly, being nonetheless, ready, isn’t comfy for a lot of Westerners, not the best way we obtain. We take on duties and make plans and description and gather data and take lessons and discuss to individuals and e mail and textual content . The sinking in I’m speaking about is personal and even lonely, and typically, you must await a type of boredom. You’re in search of methods to present your unconscious and unconscious free reign for a short time.

For a sensible suggestion, I’d say strive writing earlier than you do the rest that day– no e mail, no newspaper. Try to remain near your desires. Or, alternatively, write some journal entries and even grocery lists earlier than your artistic writing, clear your head of no matter else is there, and get the writing muscular tissues, bodily and psychological going. Sometimes the exercise of writing primes the writing pump.

Another solution to get sinking is to strive stuff you would not ordinarily do: a writing immediate, or a pencil and pad in a public sq. on on the seashore (particularly when you often write on a keypad). Anything to shake issues up and get the gears engaged.

Click right here to learn the beginning of Ten Strategies to Write Your Novel, or click on right here to visit Meredith Sue Willis’s Amazon page.

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