Stories are easy. Life's hard.Dec 31, 2017
The God of New Beginnings.
In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. Janus held the key because he was the gateway to any passage: birth, death, travels, change.
As writers we work between two worlds, with one face set to the actuality, the reality, the individual and particular day to day stuff and the other turned to peer into deeper, darker dreams, the unknown, the common myth, the universal.
We work the Janus method, with a 'back and forth' motion.
‘As I reflect on the process of writing and ask myself how themes enter that process, it seems to me that a certain back-and-forth motion takes place. First you give yourself to (or throw yourself into) the writing, and go where it takes you. Then you step back and ask yourself where you are, whether you really want to be there. This interrogation entails conceptualising, and specifically thematizing what you have written) or what has been written out of you.’ J.M. Coetzee
You can write a novel if:
- you feel compelled to write
- you are committed to writing
- you enjoy the craft and are willing to learn day in, day out
- you apply time and make sacrifices
- you are able to accept the 'back-and-forth motion.'
If when you’re your writing you feel motion sickness at times, it's because you are moving in two directions at the same time. No, it is not always a comfortable process but we have built into The Novelry all the comfort and support you need to learn not only to cope with it, but to embrace it.
During the first draft, as you create your novel with The Ninety Day Novel, you give yourself to the writing without fear, and in private. Do not step back and see what you are creating, do not invite others' points of view, keep your sleeves rolled up and your arms plunged into the well of the mystery. Yes, you may bring up an old boot or two, but you will bring up gold too.
So, the sooner you pen the first line, the better since it puts you too on the firm ground of commitment.
'I start with the first line. Usually that first line comes to me, and everything else is usually subject to change, except that first line usually remains the same. And I don't know where the first lines come from. Sometimes they're generated by an image, something in my head, or just by a line that seems to be floating around in my head. And that goes down on the page.' Raymond Carver.
Once you’ve penned a first line, you’re pretty much set and using our method, with an hour a day you will have a novel in your hands in three months time.
The Novelry is there for you for the long haul, your progress to success is plotted and planned, and The Novelry and it's infamous 'Krew' are with you all the way to push you through the gates of the submission process.
The ninety days forms a habit, shows you and encourages good working habits which will last you a lifetime , helping you discover that you love writing and where you were once impatient, you now have infinite patience for this kind of work.
Writing stories is easy, it’s life that’s hard.
The Twelve Nights of Big Dreams.
Keep a notebook by your bedside to capture any details if you’re lucky enough to wake between dreams at about 3-5 am.
You may well dream of a house which is both common and uncommon, a house with rooms you never knew were there. This dream explores the duality, or Janus-faced nature of our experience as doers and dreamers, as individuals tied to a lesser-known realm.
We do plenty of work on harvesting the unconscious and subconscious in The Ninety Day Novel, putting its content at the service of enhanced methodical productivity day in day out.
You need method, routine and discipline to benefit from what's in your deeper well. If that’s eluded you in the past, The Novelry is here to give it to you and to make it your habit.
Begin the year as you mean to go on.
The Romans believed the beginning of anything was an omen for the whole.
On New Year’s Day I will begin planning a new book. I am venturing into a fictional world that lies between children’s fiction and adult. I am writing a book for children who with they were grown ups and grown ups who wish they were not. I know I will need to focus so, as I did last year, I am letting go of that which is not necessary. I hunker down and focus, and think of the magic of the magnifying glass in sunlight setting fire to grass.
Crossover fiction, for adults and children, deals with the big theme (life and death, good and evil) without caveat or cowardice. It is confrontational and requires a brave kind of magic, sufficient to having children cross the one way bridge into adulthood. (Even as we adults might shout - go back, go back - or seek to cross that bridge and go back ourselves as readers.)
The prose of these works is active and writing in this genre requires a focus which is superb training or re-training for writers of all genres in an impatient age.
As for the key Janus is holding?
There is one word that unlocks the idea for a novel. I give that to you in the Ninety Day Novel course.