Books by Lorie Ann Grover

Books by Lorie Ann Grover
Kirkus Starred Review, Firstborn: "A fantasy that reads like a lost history tome and deftly examines issues of gender...An engrossing story with welcome depths."

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Marble or wire: Two processes to writing a novel

I was just smiling over Holly Cupala's post on her revision. Chatting with authors the past nineteen years, I find there are two approaches to writing a novel. I believe it became apparent to me when I was speaking with Randy Powell.

The first is like Randy and Holly. They are like Michelangelo sculpting a large piece of marble.

They write many, many, many words (their blocks of stone) and then they begin to chisel. Tap, tap, tap. Until the story forms and stands before them.

Ah, a reason to post David. :~)

Then there are writers like me. We begin with the thinnest armature wire.

Head and bust wire armature

Photo by Studio Arts.

And we build layer upon layer. One word added at a time. One word, then another, and another. Until our sculpture is created like a Giacometti appears to have been formed.
What different processes! And yet both end in novels! So, which are you?


Sarah Stevenson said...

I love this! I'm not sure which one is me, though...I suspect it's a bit of both! Like, if Michelangelo had not only had to chisel bits of marble away to make David, but then messed up and had to cobble some parts back on...

Beth Kephart said...

I'm you, 100% you.

Georgia said...

I think I am a bit of both as well. I will write a TON, then discard almost all of it.. and add little bits back at a time.

Maya Ganesan said...

I do it your way. Definitely. I couldn't bring myself to write tons and then fix it way.