Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Ultimate Goal?

"A good novel is like a welcome pause in the flow of our existence; a great novel is forever revisitable." - Graham Swift

"No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally (and often far more) worth reading at the age of fifty..." - C.S. Lewis

These two quotes sum up what I hope to achieve in regards to my writing. A lofty goal to be sure, but isn't that the point? Why bother writing if you don't wish to do it well? 

Now I enjoy reading as much as writing. Give me a good chick-lit book any lazy Saturday. However, I have had the privilege of reading the creative thoughts of Homer, Shakespeare, Donne, Austen, Doyle, Twain,  Lewis, Ruskin Tolkien,  - need I go on? Those are the authors I can quote from memory. Those are the authors who I give nods to in my writing. 

There is this great line from Nora Ephron's film "You've Got Mail" - "You are what you read." If you want to write like a classic author, then read them! If you want to write like a poet laureate, then grab a copy of Edmund Spenser or Gwendolyn Brooks. Perhaps you prefer the supernatural  or superheroes. Maybe its (like me) retellings of old tales (Thank you Robin McKinley and Gregory Maguire). 

You can't create in a vacuum, nor should you. (Don't all agents/publishers want you to be aware of your contemporaries?)

But all business aside, I want to write tales that are not merely serving the purpose of "pausing" someone's existence. I want my ideas, characters, settings, conflicts to resonate with my readers hours, days, weeks after they have finished. While he or she is washing the dishes or walking the dog; changing a diaper or dumping the trash; returning phone calls or picking up dinner. 

Otherwise, I'm a one time read that  either gathers dust on the shelf or gets tossed in the donation pile during Spring cleaning. 

I want to be the dog-eared book that you carry with you to every house you ever live in and I only get laid to rest when I have fallen apart and you buy a new copy. 

Perhaps this is all a bit premature, a bit too much.
Then again, if you don't dream big, why dream at all?


  1. Excellent thoughts! Thank you for sharing them with us. I can't help but think of God dreaming about piercing the hearts and minds of his people with creative words and then wrapping Rakel around that dream and placing you in the Fisher family. Keep dreaming, it's in your DNA.

  2. Thank you for that Krysti! I hope so.

  3. So eloquently put Rakel. To me writing is my heart and soul and I want it treated as such! Keep those dreams close and believe!