Saturday, March 10, 2012
Piecing Together A Novel - Ethan Spier
UK Author Ethan Spier shares his thoughts about piecing together his first science fiction novel, KINESIS. Please share your thoughts about constructing your novel in comments.
Firstly, thank you for reading this far. I’m certain you haven’t heard of me before and this blog is my first attempt at trying to impart any kind of advice to fellow writers. My name is Ethan Spier and I have been writing stories for many years, but still feel extremely new to this game. I’ve written short stories since I was a child but I have recently delved into the world of novel writing.
Secondly, thank you Mr. Gary Starta for providing this platform, on which I hope to provide some thoughts on the process of writing, and in particular writing in a way that might evoke emotions in our readers.
Thirdly, writing is hard! I don’t care what people say, the actual task of sitting down and creating something on a blank piece of paper (or computer monitor these days I suppose) is a difficult task. Well… at least I think so.
But I’m pretty sure that any writer - no matter how creative, prolific, talented or confident - all think the same thing at least once in their career.
When I wrote my debut novel, ‘Kinesis’, I thought about it several times a day and that was after planning the novel for a good six months before I actually began the first chapter.
I suppose the hard part isn’t the actual process of forming sentences out of words, but more the process of choosing the right words for any given sentence.
As a writer of fiction, I want to evoke emotional resp
Occasionally I’ll re-read one of my scenes and I’ll know that I’ve missed the target by some way and this can be extremely frustrating, but eventually the time comes when you just have to say ‘it’s as good as I can make it’.
Evoking the desired emotional response from a reader can be an extremely difficult task. Indeed, evoking any emotional response can be hard enough. After all these are just words on a piece of paper (or computer monitor these days I suppose… sigh).
I think something that can help in this task is making sure that you, as the writer, are absolutely certain where you are coming from in any given scene. I wrote ‘Kinesis’ a good year or two after coming up with the original idea. I didn’t feel like I could write it to begin with. I just had the flicker of an idea that I mulled over for a long time. Eventually I reached the point where I simply couldn’t not write it anymore. I was excited by the idea and as I thought about how the story would progress, I became more excited. I could envisage certain scenes in my head and I knew how I wanted the reader to feel during these scenes.
When I think about it, these are the scenes in the novel that were the easiest to write because I could feel the emotion as I wrote them. In my opinion, they are also the better pieces of writing in my novel. There were other scenes that were simply there to tell the part of the story that needed to be told. I had no particular emotion about them one way or the other, they simply needed to be produced in order to progress the narrative. But others – the ones I am most proud of – are the ones that were the clearest in my mind.
I suppose the point that I’m trying to get across (if anything) is, I think the best writing comes from the place where the author can see and feel the scene around them as they compose the piece. This might sound obvious, and to be honest… it is! But it’s also something that can’t really be over emphasized… at least in my own and humble opinion.
Basically, If you feel the emotion of what you write, as you write it, then you have a better chance of translating that to the reader.
And fourthly(?) - If nothing else, translating something to the reader is surely what writing is truly about.
Debut novel ‘Kinesis’ available for kindle: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kinesis-ebook/dp/B006ZDPVM8/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_t_1