102. love and the power of imagination

So I’m planning on signing up for this writing project (National Novel Writing Month) and I’m tossing around a couple ideas with which to write this novel. A couple of them (of course) center around love. Which makes me wonder – having never really been in a relationship, how well can I write about love? Imagination takes one so far, but at some point seams of inexperience are bound to appear, fracturing any fragile sense of verisimilitude that had been constructed. No?

I touched on this before (see blog 51 and 52).

I’m not saying you have to be a former drug user to write a character who abuses drugs…but I’m sure it helps.

The way I see it, lacking experience, I can only rely on things I’ve read or seen or heard about love. But to me, great writing is about pulling out the details that normally get missed in the rush of everyday life. It’s the messy details that sell the story, gets you to buy into the fabricated world. It’s one of the things that separates pop fiction from literature (not that I’m under the delusion that I’m about to write the great American novel, but still I want to write something that has mass, substance, weight).

(I’m thinking that the hardest part is going to be the dialogue.)

But if my writing has taught me anything, it’s taught me that it’s a leap of faith. I mean it literally feels, sometimes, like leaping off a cliff. I start with an idea, a sentence, a word and I put it on the page and from there it’s a free-fall – I’m trusting that words are going to be there to keep me afloat. And if I get really lucky I find a strong up-draft and the words start coming faster than I can get them down.

Anyway, here’s to writing and to imagination and to a really fast, really intense relationship to come my way in the week and a half before this writing project starts.

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