Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Book of Life

I wouldn’t say I’ve been suffering from writer’s block for the last few months, but it’s something akin to it I’m sure. Even though I always have lots of ideas, wrestling them into shape verbally is often a problem. It’s so much easier to express and understand things visually.
For example, you know those before-and-after pictures in a magazine like People? The ones where you have to spot the ten little things that are different between them? Well, I’d rather do that than a crossword puzzle because I can usually pick up the things that have been Photoshop-ed in right away. Unfortunately the only time I’m successful with a crossword puzzle is when I Google most of the clues.
When I think of a word, a picture almost always comes up—even if that word is an abstract one. For example, I know I’d like to “write” another “book” and the first thing that that popped into my mind was one filled with random pictures that didn’t seem to be connected to each other in any obvious way. Apparently it would be up to the reader to unite things visually and come up with a story.
I did get a title though: The Book of Life.
Naturally I went straight to Google, and it turns out that The Book of Life is mentioned in Christian and Jewish spiritual teachings, and is also the title of by a 1921 novel by Upton Sinclair. You can’t copyright a title of course, but I think I’d shy away from using something someone else has already come up with.
I’ve heard writers like Wayne Dyer, Dean Koontz and Neale Donald Walsch all say they can’t start writing until they have a title. In Wayne Dyer’s case, he even visualizes the cover and has a mock-up done by his publisher to inspire him during the writing process. As for me, there’s no cover yet, but there’s already something inside.


Irene said...

How wonderful, I'll be waiting anxiously for publication.

martha brown said...

Oh, you're such a crossword puzzle cheater!!!
Happy writing!

spindelmaker said...

I love your idea, and would certainly buy your book!

Leslie Jane Moran said...

My title for you is "You Always Know" because YOU always do!

It's so interesting that words play themselves out as images to you. As we have discussed many a time, the interpretation is always in the eye of the beholder. I was delighted to hear a contemporary poet saying that she did not want to have to explain her work, nor should it have to "mean" anything. It should just BE.
"You Always Know".

me again said...

When I wrote full-time for a living, it was always when I got the opening sentence "right" that would kick off the inspiration for the rest of the piece. If the opening sentence came across to me as "wrong", even if I didn't understand just what was wrong, then the rest of the piece just kept failing.
I guess what I mean to say is that we all have our own way to approach things and if the images come to you before the words, then that is meant to be! :-)
And I like Leslie's title. YOU ALWAYS KNOW .... that suits you so well!
( could go with my word verification, which is WALLYRA ... sounds like a mysterious kingdom set in a misty forest.......)

Susan Williamson said...

Oh my gosh! "You Always Know?" (I had to add the question mark). It's a much more dynamic title, that's for sure, Leslie. But I think I'm safer knowing things visually than verbally.
And Wallyra? I think that's the perfect name for one of the locations in my angel novel Lennie ...another yet unwritten (or sort of unwritten) book.

Debrina said...

Oh. I LIKE the title, the book of life!! Can't you throw in a subtitle, like: a visual you do it (as opposed to "whodunnit").

Here: The Book of Life: a visual you do it.

That way, you wont need to write a thing; the reader can do it all!

Ha ha.

jc said...

You are so on a roll in the area of getting published.... you've got more momentum than you realize. Way to go!

Sandy Michelle said...

I didn't even know you could google the clues :) I am starting to understand what a process it is to write a book. I have been working on a small one for a month now. Have a great Halloween my friend!

Sandy xox

Ganga Fondan said...

There are as many creative initiations as there are hairs on a gorilla. :) I had to smile at Debrina's suggestion. A cool idea. Interested to discover more of your "Artopian Landscapes". You rock and I send you lots of smiles across the miles!!!! All the best in this venture!