February 1, 2012

Insecure Writers - remembering C. S. Lewis

as i struggle with writing the current draft of my novel, i want to remember the wisdom of C. S. Lewis. so here, (not brilliantly written, but from my heart), are my struggles and his answers...

-- it's just an idea i had. what's so great about it?

"The Lion all began with a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood. This picture had been in my mind since I was about sixteen. Then one day, when I was about forty, I said to myself: 'Let's try to make a story about it.'"

and aren't we glad he followed up on the picture in his head.

-- i might like it, but will anyone else like it?

“Write about what really interests you, whether it is real things or imaginary things, and nothing else.”

-- it's not a very original story

"Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it."

-- maybe it's all garbage

"What you want is practice, practice, practice. It doesn't matter what we write (at least this is my view) at our age, so long as we write continually as well as we can. I feel that every time I write a page either of prose or of verse, with real effort, even if it's thrown into the fire the next minute, I am so much further on."

-- what if i'm not including enough description?

(this is just my own observation) no book in the Chronicles of Narnia is over 300 pages, if that, and they're small books, not heavy tomes. his description is sparse, yet our minds fill in this wonderful world. maybe better to not over-describe, but let our readers fill in the blanks.

-- this is taking forever/will it ever be done?

"Although Lewis originally conceived what would become The Chronicles of Narnia in 1939, he did not finish writing the first book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe until 1949." (from Wikipedia)

whew. that makes me feel better.

and when it all gets to be too much, time for tea and a book.

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”


RachelMaryBean said...

There are a lot of authors I love, but no one inspires me to write more than C.S. Lewis.
Thanks for this post.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Become original without even noticing... I hope so!

Sheila Siler said...

Fantastic post. I love CS Lewis and this is great advice. I'm going to share it with my critique group. Thanks!

M.J. Fifield said...

This is a great post with a lot of words of wisdom. Thanks for sharing...

Tracy Jo said...

Love the wisdom. :-)

Kristie Cook said...

Beautiful! Thanks for helping all of us put things into perspective.

Kristie Cook said...

Beautiful! Thank you for helping us allot things into perspective.

Name: Holly Bowne said...

That was awesome!! Your comments so perfectly mirror my own thoughts about my WIP (which is taking me FOREVER to finish!). Thanks for sharing C.S. Lewis' wisdom in such a great format!