Creating the Clay From Which You Carve Out The Story

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

I've been reading a post over at Writer Unboxed about going deeper to find those "crunchy" story ideas that create the sort of writing that make people sit up and take notice.

I love what the writer, Robin LeFevers says here:

But here’s the thing: we writers don’t have so much as a block of marble or lump of clay or even paints with which to create. Writers are required to produce the material from which they will then craft the book. So recognize that your early drafts and story journaling are essentially creating the material, rather than writing the story you will be telling.

Straight away this image popped into my head (yes, Kel, I think it would be a wonderful side trip to draw or otherwise engage said image :)   I got this image of a writer standing in front of a giant mound of ... well, I guess from a distance it could look like a rubbish heap.  On closer inspection, there is some weird shit in there - arms, and flaps of clothing, and keys, and cars, and purses and elephants and things that you don't even really know what they are until the third draft.  A big teetering mound.

And then you start to craft.  And then after that you start to write your story.

I loveses this :)


  1. I am soo deeply dying to write, but I just don't have the time. I am really looking forward to summer and having some time to be quiet and still and crank something out of the "rubbish heap". 4 weeks to go.

  2. I've just finished reading a diary from the 1930s-40s...and it's really inspired me to get writing! This woman just recorded everything, from the daily trivial things to major political events, it's inspired me to just go off and write anything, it doesn't have to be groundbreaking it can just be about this moment :). I like your big pile of arms and elephants :)

  3. I can so see why you like that website, Sue. I bet you're reading it even now;) Life is a story we each make up, and each story is unique, although some overlap quite a bit. I would say though that there are no unique ideas, but only unique ways of putting ideas together. Now there's an outrageous statement just waiting for a reaction;) There are times when I feel if I don't write something there'll be a major incident... but then when I do, I use very few words. Maybe that's a basis for a book:)

  4. LOL, i like how you painted the picture with words :-)

  5. Haha, Kel :)

  6. Oh, I agree that there are no unique ideas, Harry.  Absolutely.  I think that's something that some writers find hard to face because they think it diminishes what they have out there to write about.  Luckily though the ways of putting stories together are limitless, pretty much.  And there's something comforting about there not really being all that many stories, somehow.

    And a development of a terseness of words is a particularly wonderful thing :)

  7.  That sounds really cool, Andrea.  And how funny you should write this because I've just started writing a diary again after ages of not writing one, and feeling like I really didn't *want* to write one.  I've decided that I'm just going to note down what I feel like noting down, and use it as an aide for memory rather than it feeling like a chore, which it so often does.  Who wrote the diary?

    Isn't it funny the pressure we feel from diary writing?  Like as if it has to be groundbreaking.  I love the thought of you keeping a diary that is about this moment.  They're probably the most interesting things to read back on in the future anyway, maybe??

  8. Four weeks to go.  Four weeks to go.  Four weeks to go. 

    That sounds so lovely, Erin - summer, being quiet and still, cranking out of the "rubbish heap" :)


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