In my exploration of the culture of Catholic writing, I’ve been reading Flannery O’Connor.
I find much inspiration in her approach to writing as a Catholic and I’ve discovered two quotes of hers that I can relate to. I think all writers need inspiring quotes from other writers to keep themselves going.
Both are via QOTD.org.
I’ve discovered what Miss O’Connor talks about stir within me as I write. I sometimes do not know where I am going with the plot until the plot itself takes me there. This may sound odd, but I think other writers will understand this.
While I am writing, stuff from deep within me wells up from its dwelling place and pours forth into the story. It could be something autobiographical, some minor bit from my past brought out for character or plot development, or something I’ve read that is an interest of mine that fills a need for the story.
Like the novel that I’m working in that I mentioned in this post. The original story idea was to explore why something at work might have happened; but the story has borrowed heavily from my beliefs and interests. I had no idea that they’d have to be made manifest in it. This might make more sense if I discussed the particular story details, but I’m not going to for the moment. The story started out as one thing, and as I wondered about this or that, I just drew upon miscellaneous knowledge of mine, and finally they’ve fleshed out the plot to be something greater than the original intent. The original idea is still there and is at the crux of the plot. But the novel is becoming so much more than the original idea.
And I’m loving the fact that as the story is progressing, plotlines are now coalescing into a cohesive whole; there are coming together at an appropriate point to give the novel direction. Rather than a whole bunch of different plots all contained in the same file, they are now giving the novel its identity. Meaning, I think I’m at that point where readers will enter into the “meat” of the plot. All the main characters have been introduced, the plots laid down and now stuff is happening to drive it forward towards its conclusion.
Which I have no idea how it will end, but thats OK. Based upon what Miss O’Connor said up above, the ending is somewhere within me, waiting to be discovered.
To paraphrase Miss O’Connor: I will write the novel to discover what the ending is. I won’t know what the ending is until I see it. (And this next may fall under my belief that “writing is therapy”, and I won’t paraphrase her, but repeat the quote): I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.