Tuesday, 23 April 2013
The ABC of Writing and its application to this text
Recently someone spoke about the ABC of writing. A is for Art. This is intangible and this is where there may be talent. It interfaces with craft, the C, but Art tells you when to use which aspects of the craft and how to combine different narrative voices.
B is the business of writing. This is all about making the right contacts and connections and behaving in a business-like way. Writerly research and getting the facts right is also important business.
C is the craft. Showing not telling. Developing characters effectively. Creating dialogue that works. Creating real time.
I’ve recently been working on the early life of Rudi Lehrs. There are only a few facts known about him but I’ve found out quite a lot about lung disease and how it was treated in the early part of the 20th century. That’s the B taken care of.
I’ve done my character crafting. I’ve put Clara and Rudi into real time. I’ve created tension and pace. I’ve shown instead of telling. I’ve put all that I know about writing into creating a film in the reader’s head. C is probably fine.
A took me by surprise. B and C led me to having Clara in a hospital waiting room. Another woman with a sick child was there. Without realising it I showed Clara to be more of an optimist. The nurse invites her to wait in an enclosed garden. I’m just about to make her admire the flowers growing unexpectedly in an enclosed space. Does this foreshadow what is to come? Logic hasn’t told me to include that scene. It seems to fit, like an extra brush stroke on a watercolour.
Presumably the successful combination of A, B and is another layer of the art of writing?