Recently I came across this quote from my father.
“The art of creation is the art of skillful selection.”
At the time I didn’t know how far this quote would take me. I found myself coming back to it time and again. Remembering each time, how dad sometimes began a story several times before it took off and he wrote it to the finish. This is how Louis L’Amour’s Lost Treasures Vol.1(published) and Vol 2 (to be published) came about. In those volumes you see his process and the art in the choices he made.
I went back to my book and started it three more times.
Each time I did that first scene, I found myself with more options than I knew what to do with. Finally I remembered what one of the teachers at SCBWI said this summer.
I don’t have it completely right so this is not a quote but she made the suggestion of writing the story and then writing chapter 1.
Partially because you may not need it and also because when you begin you may have no idea where it is going.
I have too many options…
happy or sad
Quiet or loud
Angry or massively depressed
strike out or isolate
friendly or avoiding
When does the inciting incident occur?
What is the inciting incident?
See what I mean? I am full up with choices. What direction do I choose?
The art is in the selection.
Now I get to decide which ones work the best but it is like playing a game of 52 pickup with all of my choices the cards and then putting them together in a massive version of concentration. I will leave the card games behind now(or am I holding the dead man’s hand?) Sorry I couldn’t resist that!
Dad always said he had too many ideas. I am beginning to understand.