Tuesday, July 01, 2008

On the road again . . . again

After you have written 61 books (which I have, apparently) and you are embarking on the 62nd, you begin to think you've been this way before.

Maybe not quite this exact same way, but some of the memories evoked are the same even if the sights along the way are not.

When I was reading Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit last spring I wrote several blogs -- one of which is here -- about it which, having gone back and re-read them now, make me recognize the efforts. It isn't that I wasn't aware of them before, but I think it's the ritual I am more aware of now.

There is, of course, the box. Or the collage. Or the heap of papers, books and sundry junk piled in the corner that is my treasure trove for the book. Every book has one. Or at least it has something -- some collection that I go to in order to discover the flotsam and jetsam that I will need to create the novel.

Oddly, though, when I did the collage for Flynn and Sara, nothing in the book turned out like the collage -- well, except for O'Mally and Liam.

Flynn changed as the book went on. Sara did, too. So did the castle. And the setting? Well, it started out in New York and never went there at all in the finished book.

Much the same thing happened to Sebastian and Neely and their box. The box is wonderful -- very impressive. And nothing much remained of the things I put on the box, either. The story took on a life of its own.

It began with the box, yes. But then it took off from there.

So starting over with Christo and Natalie, I don't expect to end up with what I start out with, either.

Just as well. It shows the characters are growing, developing their own story, finding their own way to their happily ever after.

At least I hope that's where they're going. They haven't seen fit to tell me yet.

But I'm turning up every morning -- and so far it's working.

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Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

Here you are! I had you on an automatic feed and suddenly the posts stopped. I assumed (foolishly) that you'd stopped blogging. It never occurred to me that you simply changed address. I'm so glad to find you again. Hope all's well. Sending love from the wilds of central NJ

01 July, 2008  
Blogger Michelle Styles said...

Ah Twyla Tharp. She also says to think of skill/craft like a clock face. You simply have to go around polishing and when you rach the top, you find that the first skills need polishing again. In other words, you should never expect to completely master a skill like writiing a romance novel, you can only hone your skills and each time is an adventure and a challenge. Otherwise, you would get bored.
I look forward to seeing how this story challenges you.

02 July, 2008  
Blogger Anne McAllister said...

Ah, Barbara! Great to see you. My webmistress changed the way into the blog last September, so you've got a lot of catching up to do! Do you have a search for Twyla Tharp? Wonderful book, isn't it?

Michelle, Twyla Tharp is a wise woman. It's interesting how we do so many of the same things across disciplines. And indeed, it is different each time -- and never boring. Already I'm having fun with Natalie. Christo has yet to make an appearance in the flesh. But he's definitely the subject of conversation.

02 July, 2008  

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