Friday, 7 September 2007
An egg or a nest?
The difference between a short story and a novel...
A short story is an egg, a novel is a bird's nest. For me, a short story pops into my head in one piece, and by the time I've written it down, it's finished, complete, and I'm unlikely to make any but the most minor changes. This process takes four to six hours.
A novel is quite different, and takes much longer. I start with an idea of what it will be like, then as I write I go back, make alterations, add scenes, and incorporate things I observe day to day. Like the blackbird who built a nest in my balcony bay tree; string, cellophane and the odd bit of wire she came across in the urban landscape were all woven into the construction, and the earth below was littered with discarded twigs and leaves.
As I queued for fish in Waitrose, a man pushed in front of me. I remonstrated, he was rude, and another man took my side. The instant aggression that sprung up between the two men was startling. It seemed they might hit each other.
My one thought was, I've underwritten the altercation with Farren and Edric...must change it.
Posted by Lexi at Friday, September 07, 2007