I’ve made a mid-January resolution to read great works with a writer’s eye. Having not wanted to procrastinate, with snow and sleet impeding my ability to get out this morning to the book store and the library closed as are the public schools today under this winter weather advisory, I searched online for the full work of any of the suggested readings for MFA creative writing majors.
On Bartleby.com I found Gertrude Stein‘s Three Lives and began my reading. It didn’t take me look to notice Stein’s introduction of characters to include a statement of their personality trait followed by some of their physical characteristics. In doing this the reader sees these characters and also has an expectations of their behavior. This brings the reader interest. It is engaging.
In November, when I made the commitment to myself to start writing on a regular basis I began this blog, with a purpose larger than it would appear. As a writer in the genre of autobiographic prose, the memoir, I felt the posts could come together to build on a major piece of work. Even though this was a concept from the inception of this blog, I began a separate manuscript with a focused topic instead. I had this idea that being focused on a topic I could carry my story through the years. My subject I chose was my education. If I were a traditional student I could not have done this, however my education as it was, spanned decades.
Although the manuscript tells a lot I realized early that it didn’t show anything. I polished as I went along and I felt I may have deleted or forgot my writers voice, almost too embarrassing for this writer to admit. I put it on hold a few days. Discouraged but not destroyed as in contrast: I did feel satisfied with many of my blog posts even though they were not stringing together as I thought they might at the blogs inception.
I then received a comment on my blog from a respected writer that said my “story would make a great book.” So I began over, using that story as the foundation for my project the one I had invisioned in the begining, inserting excerpt from other posts and even two paragraphs from that first manuscript after of course, injecting some life into them.
Now, after reading a little of Gertrude Stein and liking how she paints her characters and in doing so, slows the story down that I realize the way I am telling my story seems rushed and it doesn’t need to be. After all it’s not a blog that I am writing. It’s a book.