03 November, 2005

Scene breakdown (or maybe just, Breakdown)

In an effort to see my way clear on this novel-thing I went through the MS and wrote down what happens, page by page. I'm in that state of mind where I think, 'Well, nothing much happens, does it? And what does happen is just silly.'

I won't go on and on, tempted as I am (my mind is full of wailing and whingeing). I will just give you some heartening words of Peter Carey's at the end of his interview with Kate Grenville and Sue Woolfe in Making stories: how ten Australian novels were written (Allen & Unwin, 1993):
I think that the one false signal that this discussion might give is that the whole journey was more straightforward than it really was. Some of the earlier notes were much more confused and less focused than this. The process is muddier than even this indicates, and I know that this is muddy. The confusions and the darkness...this seemed more focused and direct than I think the process is.

     There's this question people have, how should I really be doing this? Students always think when they're proper writers their self-doubt and their uncertainty will go away. I say to them, this is what you're choosing for your life. You think you feel bad now, you wait. Because that's the nature of writing.

Oh, oh, oh.


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