Thursday’s Quote


I skimmed through many quotes before I found the following. Wow, if that doesn’t describe a writer’s work in progress, I don’t know what does? I could be way out to left field in my interpretation, but I thought it would be fun to break it down, and tell you what I picture when reading it. Keep in mind this is just my opinion.

All our progress is an unfolding, like a vegetable bud. You have first an instinct, then an opinion, then a knowledge as the plant has root, bud, and fruit. Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I read it again, I thought how amazing it would be to have an artist either draw or paint the pages of a book instead of a vegetable coming up from the ground. Wouldn’t it be amazing?  Can you picture it?

Emerson starts with:

All our progress is an unfolding, like a vegetable bud. That could be your story, as it takes shape, starting to develop as you write it out. 

You have first an instinct–that could be your idea, what you want to write about, the plot dancing in your head, just dying to come out, and be set free.

Then you have an opinion–perhaps that’s the research you’ve done to get better acquainted with the subject (part of Disraeli’s quote from last week) before you put pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard.

And then a knowledge as the plant has root, bud, and fruit. I see that as your novel slowly moving forward with a firm foundation, its bud’s are coming out (those are your scenes). Soon ripe fruit burst forth (your chapters).

Trust the instinct to the end. I would call that the impulse propelling your forward. You’ve done great so far, you can’t stop now. You have to run with it, keep going… yes until the end.  

Though you can render no reason. Of course not. After all that hard work, why would you stop now? 

Sometimes, though, your progress may be slow. Try as you may, words won’t come. Other times, it’s like it has stopped completely. You’re unable to move forward. You’re stuck. It happens to most everyone. I’d be surprised if any writer said “I never had writer’s block.”

It’s okay. Think about it…isn’t it the same with your garden? You don’t expect to sow the seeds and reap the harvest the next day, do you? Isn’t writing a novel the same thing? It takes time. You need to feed and water it. You have to make sure it gets the heat and light it needs. When the stem starts to lean, you need to give it support. 

Isn’t that how it is with your stories? You feed it by writing all those ideas. Sometimes, it may not make a whole lot of sense, but that’s all right, it’s your first draft. There’ll be plenty of time to pull the weeds out later. Just write!



Thursday’s Quote


Since I started this blog challenge, Friday, Jan 26th, my intention was to post 31 days in a row, with a daily minimum of 500 words. I’m okay with that. Finding topics however, proves to be somewhat…uh…challenging? (pun intended)

No one said the words have to be mine, so every Thursday, I will use words from other writers. That’s right. Author quotes.

Today, post 7 of 31, I start with one of my favourite. Former prime minister of the United Kingdom and novelist, Benjamin Disraeli, said:

The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write about it.

pexels-photo-461077.jpegBack in 2009, when I decided to get serious about my writing, someone told me “write what you know.”

Are you kidding? Where’s the fun in that? Far be it from me to settle for what I know. I’m too curious. I took Disraeli’s advice and began to explore uncharted territory…to dig into the unknown.

My first novel, Stella’s Plea, was about a kidnapping. I talked to a couple of police officers, and asked a few questions when I wasn’t sure how they were going to handle certain situations. Overall, that one was easy to write.

My second, Emma’s Prayer, dealt with adoption, something I heard about often enough, but did I really know how it worked? I had no clue how much paperwork was involved, and the extensive process parents had to go through. I had a lot of work to do. Thanks to an amazing woman who works for an adoption agency, I was able to put this story together. I emailed her questions, and in her replies, she always gave in-depth, detailed information of what had to take place, and why.

My current WIP, Charlie’s Plight, starts with a house fire. I had a lot of research to do on that one. How do they investigate the cause of a fire? Hypothetically speaking, what if they suspect arson, or even murder, how do they determine that? My biggest question: Can fire investigators lift prints from smoke damaged items, such as a doorknob or a table, that the fire never touched? I met with the fire chief, and also spoke to a good friend of ours who’s a lieutenant at the local fire department. Both were quite helpful, answering all my questions.

It’s okay to write about what’s familiar to you. You don’t have to dig into the unknown if you don’t want to. I do it because I love to learn. I’ve often said if I could make a living out of being a student, I’d go to school until I retire. There’s a reason I entered university at 35.

The great classes offered at Christian Writers Conferences is one of the biggest reason I attend those events. It’s where I thrive the most. I want to learn all there is to know about the craft of writing. Of course, there are other reasons I attend…. like meeting amazing authors, some of them aspiring, others bestselling. There’s a lot of fun in THAT!

What’s your favourite quote? Why?