It is interesting to ponder how writers actually write. One person, Malcolm Cowley, put forth in Chapter XII of his book – And I Worked at the Writer’s Trade, what he considers to be the four stages in the composition of a story.
Stage 1. – The planting of the Germ of the story.
Stage 2. – A period of conscious Meditation.
Stage 3. – Writing the First Draft.
Stage 4. – Doing the Revision of the work.
I have started on such a journey through the stages of how a writer writes. The first stage is having the Germ of the story planted within one. In my case, it was planting done by a young woman who regularly writes and posts Haiku and Senryu to a group on a social networking site I happen to frequent. She posted within the last few days four Haiku/Senryu bearing the titles “Warmth“, “Butterflies“, “Quiet“, and “Alone“. As I enjoyed reading those pieces, I was inspired to post a Haiku/Senryu in response to each one. Fortunately, she seemed to like each of the responses.
On the one titled “Alone“, she went so far as to respond back with another Haiku/Senryu to my response. We went back and forth a time or two producing what was a chain of what now stands at six links of Haiku/Senryu. It has been months since I have done such a thing. This woman and I have traded links in a Haiku/Senryu chain similar to this on a few occasions in the past. It is always a most pleasant experience.
Today, as I let my mind wander back through the memories of these four particular pieces, my responses to the pieces, and the resulting chain for the last piece, I found myself being drawn into a rather interesting story involving a young lady taking a break from her stressful lifestyle on a secluded island off the coast of somewhere. The break ends up revitalizing her on a number of levels, thus enabling her to return to her lifestyle fully refreshed and able to face the challenges ahead.
Of course, toward the end of her break, a rapscallion ends up having a boating accident off the shore of the island. He ends up awakening, face up, on a sandy beach just a few feet from where the waves are washing in. He can tell that he needs to get out of the sun before he get severely burned under the scorching rays that are heating the sand to sizzling temperatures. He makes his way from the sandy coast to the wooded interior where he tries to establish somewhere to stay as he figures out how to get back to what he knows as civilization.
Naturally, he has to not only find a way back to civilization, but as is the way with stories like this, he must do some soul searching. In the process he meets the young lady now ready to return to her former life. She, being the kind, gracious, empathetic person she is, helps the guy change into a much better person than he had ever been before.
Having gotten this far in the process, I am at a point where I would be ready to start writing based on what is becoming a story of some kind. In the past I have done complete novels with about this much of a plot line in my head. Something about the writing of the details of what is the general idea I have results in bringing out all I need to do a complete piece. We will have to see where this all leads.
What do those of you following this Blog think? Does it sound like I should pursue this? I’ll see if I can share the process of getting through an ordeal like this. As I do, be sure to share how you think I’m doing.