I don’t have much time to write an in-depth reaction to this article, but wanted to share it here. It’s an interview with a writer on the process of writing, and the effect of sharing that writing. He believes there is something holy in the hermitical approach, in keeping a silence around what he is doing, for the entire span of writing a novel.
I, obviously, do not feel this, at least not to the same degree. But I have been thinking about how much is too much. Not that I think it is possible to somehow ‘sully’ a book by sharing segments of it, but how, in sharing it, I might accidentally decontextualise that part – share a piece of the cake that is all icing, or all jammy filling, so to speak. Kilea changes over time, both the character herself and the narrative voice to reflect her maturity, so I did worry that giving the intro paragraphs would set up expectations that could not be fulfilled.
Then I thought, well, I trust the reader’s intelligence. I trust the reader to like being surprised. To want development. To be a little heartbroken, to have all endings narrowed down to the one end that feels right. Or to have the ending left a little open, like a window that lets in the air of another place, cold and stirring. Which is what I want when I read, after all, beyond the poetry of the words.
This still hasn’t pinned down exactly why I post little bits of the novel, fragments of ideas, point to the images which will come to form the backdrop of The Millennial. Perhaps because, particularly before I had won the Unbound Press award, it warmed my heart to share what I felt I could of it with all of you. That seems a tad meagre, and I am sure there is more to it than that.
To those who share their words online, what is it you want to do? Is it for the act of sharing itself? Do you find sharing helps clarify things – how about the feedback you receive?