I’ve been stuck in the middle of NaNoWriMo madness, so posting has been light. I’m coming to terms with the fact that I’m not going to make the 50,000 word benchmark before the end of the month, but I’m still going to finish, even if it takes me a few weeks into December.
There was a recent Wall Street Journal article, “How to Write a Great Novel,” which interviewed numerous authors about their methods for writing. I particularly identified with Dan Chaon, who says that his stories always start internally with a series of seemingly disconnected images. This is similar to how my stories start.
A number of people have asked me about the story I am writing for NaNoWriMo. I’ll confess: it’s a story for Ms. B, who is a fan of fantasy, and that I find obscenely (D would say absurdly) embarrassing to talk about. I am, however, willing to share the images that started this story:
Image #1: At the place where I eat lunch, tucked behind the trees and hidden from the view of the picnic tables where I sit, there is a playground. Particularly during the summer, when the weather is nice, you will hear children screeching and laughing, but can’t see them through the trees. This lead to a mental image of children living in the woods, unknown to the nearby residents, parentless, dirty, and wild.
Image #2: The feeling of being inside a rabbit’s warren. I’m claustrophobic; this was not a pleasant idea. Please discard all Narnia-like associations of a rabbit wearing a pinafore inviting you into her cozy underground home for tea by the fire.
Image #3: A girl, stumbling through the food court, worries that she has attracted too much attention and goes into the bathroom to change her appearance. When she emerges only few seconds later, only her hazel eyes remain the same.