Saturday, 28 June 2008

Why a novel is a bit like a glove collection...

Writing a novel has something in common with my daughter's collection of single gloves.

She finds them lost in the street, brings them home, washes them and pins them on her notice board wherever they seem to fit in among the others.

And a writer, in the throes of a novel, does much the same while out and about; spots things that will add to his novel, pounces on them, brings them home and in they go.

(The sequinned shoe? No, I don't know what it's doing there. Inexplicable and unexpected. But then, it's not a bad thing for a novel to have something inexplicable and unexpected in it, either).


  1. I think this is my favorite part of being a writer. Anything in my day, even the most trivial detail, could end up on the page.

    What's even more amazing, I think, is how much of that process is subconscious.

  2. True - and sometimes one works out where something came from, and it's often a surprise.

    I see from your blog you're on a roll at the moment, hurrah!

  3. Ooh heck! I thought I'd already left a comment on this. Clearly not!

    Yes, we do spot interesting (and mundane) things and make them into, or parts of, stories. I think we bank them as well, for later or for a rainy day.


  4. I like the 'banking' idea, Nik.

    Do you do it consciously, unconsciously, or both?

  5. Definitely both. I think I generally write it down if I'm doing it consciously, but there are definitely times when half remembered things pop into my head when I need them; I like those times, they're a nice surprise.


  6. PS We're just big sponges really, aren't we - and need something to squeeze us every now and again.