Monday, July 02, 2007

Revelation and the Writing Process

So, sometimes when you write, creepy things happen.

There's this place you can get in your mind . . . where you're really tapped into *something.* It doesn't happen all of the time, but it *does* happen.

Two examples: When working on my current WIP, I had this day where I felt really connected to what was going on. Well, for the plot to go forward, I needed to know the Yoruba/Igbo (Nigerian) word for "grandmother." But I didn't want to stop writing to go to the library for a dictionary. (I couldn't find anything online.) So I guessed. I guessed and I figured I would look it up later. What did I guess that it was? I guessed: Nne-Nne.

Imagine my shock a week or two later when I finally *did* get the dictionary and the word for grandmother was: Nnenne. I got one hyphen wrong, but frankly the fact that I got the rest right was seriously creepy.

A few years ago, I was working on another book. Isaac Newton was going to be in it. I knew that he had a beautiful niece named Catherine, who, at some point, lived with him. But I didn't know much beyond that. I knew that the plot as I had seen it unfold in my mind needed to have a summer romance that turned into a wedding. I also knew that I needed there to be an alchemical secret society that would decide to join up with another secret society and become Masons. I also knew that the climax had to happen on the summer soltice. I chose a date at complete random. 1717. The only thing I was thinking was that it was post-Principia enough that some of the theological questions I was going to raise would make sense.

Turns out, the Masons were founded just a few blocks away from where I had set my story. A few separate lodges (including one with alchemical ties!) merged together to create the Masons. **On the summer soltice of 1717.** Oh, it got better. Newton's niece, Catherine, was living with her uncle in 1717 and late that spring, she met the man she was going to marry. She married him at the end of summer, 1717.

Yeah.

The thing is, stuff like this happens *all* the time when you're (I'm? You other writers out there will have to weigh in) writing.

It happens so often that it's almost stopped feeling creepy.

It's made me think about the scriptures, actually. A few years ago, I came to the realization that if I found out that every scripture ever written was complete fiction . . . Well, it wouldn't bug me at *all.* Because I write fiction. I know that revelation happens that way. I know that *truth* happens that way.

Creepy or not, I believe in that.

5 comments:

Barb said...

uh.maze.ing. Seriously. That gave me chills!! (BTW- I feel that I am ready to read your book. Are you ready to let me?) :)

k said...

Everyone else is too creeped out by this post to comment. I can totally tell!

Peggy said...

No, silly, you just "said it all." And we are in awed silence.

k said...

If I had *really* "said it all" don't you think I would have somehow worked in something about body fluids? Cause that's kind of like me . . .

Steve said...

you are so gross. ecch. Love, Steve.