There's an old English proverb that goes: "Necessity is the mother of invention." I write out of necessity and in so doing have created a story based on an oral history of my parents' short life together. The intention of this blog series is to describe that journey I set out on 2 years ago. Today's post is about process.
I trudged through 4-plus inches of snow this morning, in bitter cold, to get to a coffee shop. I have a goetta and cheese croissant waiting on a plate rimmed in the blue-green of a by-gone era, the 1950's. It takes me back to the beginning pages of my parents' story.
As I eat, I think about process. I'm in the process of finishing this croissant, the sweet and savory tastes of butter and pork mingling with memories of childhood. Process is also what my engineering husband's brain does with numbers all day. Process is what happens when learning a foreign language. Process is to learn, to discover.
Contrary to things I've read about the writing process, I don't believe rules are necessary in order to begin. They are adoptable along the way, but just having the courage to begin is all it takes. So I just started by writing the story my mother had told me all of my life about the way she and my dad met. What developed was the process by which I took that first story and made it into a novel.
I firmly believe in the restorative nature of writing - whether to share with others or not. My parents' story is the culmination of years swirling in memories. In the process, I have found peace with things that happened along the way that were out of my control.
I intend to write a post once a week to discuss the various aspects of writing "He Asked Her to Dance." My hope is to show how I have arrived at the 290 pages that exist today. It began as a simple story, but became an education in and of itself. The more questions I asked the more dimensions I added to the story. I hope you will read along and let me know what you think. Tell me about your writing and how you arrived at the stories you tell.