Tuesday, October 26, 2010

King's Archaeology

Everything matters when writing, and most of what matters happens beyond the words that find their way to final draft. To write, you have to observe and then synthesize, then store, and then discover; because writing is discovery.

Stephen King equated writing with archaeology, where the process is to reveal what is hidden. The story, novel, article, the final draft, must be coaxed from the ground. Of course King, (in his excellent book, On Writing) did not necessarily say that to be buried, a thing had to have had a life before, or that buried things tend to change when under ground. We, the writing archaeologists that we must be, have to interpret what we find, put context to how things lay in relation to each other, make sense to what we may only dimly understand.

Things observed that I must bury so that I can discover them later:

-The social media phenomenon has changed marital fights into global spectator sporting events. No more need to live in a trailer park to get a front row seat. Just read Facebook and you too can share in the squabble and, best yet, at your leisure you can fan the flames by adding helpful comments. My family is wonderful. How about yours?

-The joy of laying on the couch after cooking a meal for a woman who just might become your wife, nestled beside her and content in a way never imagined.

-Cable installers are nearly as lazy as I am.

-Fog inching across the lake, a land cloud in the bright sunshine of a Maine fall day.

-A white haired doctor of psychology riding his scooter, dressed like a bad ass biker as imagine by a whte haired doctor of psychology.

Do I discover these things; in part, or whole? Will they matter tomororrow or next year or never at all?

Still fifty books to go. My quest continues.

No comments: