It’s easy to write about other people’s books.

I’m currently working on a novella. Mainly. Well, I am sure that it is a novella. It’s currently standing at about 16 000 words and there is a competition that I may (or may not) enter it in that calls for between 10 000 and 20 000. A slight barrier to this is that the current 16 000 words don’t actually contain anything resembling a “plot” and definitely not a “conclusion”.

I’ve been reading Stephen King’s On Writing and King is dismissive of the focus on plot. (A position I have enthusiastically embraced!) What he means is that a writer shouldn’t force plot on a story, as it will only feel contrived in the end. Rather the narrative of a story must emerge as the writer discovers it, gradually coming to light in an organic kind of way. He talks quite a bit about the act of finding, excavating the story that is there. There is a sense of relief that I feel when I think of it like that. I don’t have to create, so much as allow. Be the conduit. It may only be a difference in semantics, but if it works, it does not really matter.

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