Friday, June 1, 2012
The Art of Writing No. 47
â€œIt came straight through my brain without touching the sidesâ€ is my common response to questions about how I wrote Azimuth. Ten years may see forever even for a big novel but then life seems forever until suddenly your candle starts to flicker and then gutter. The psychology of spending a decade on a book, albeit in three volumes, seems to me akin to writing a diary; not the trivial, passing thoughts concerning events which you might find in ninety percent of Twitter or Facebook posts: â€œâ€I am standing in the crowd waiting for the Olympic torch to race by, drinking a CafÃ© Nero cappuccinoâ€, more the serious log of someone at the heart of a struggle for independence, a riot, famine or natural disaster. In my case it was like looking through a wormhole at two points in the distant past, one post-Mohammed and one pre-Buddha. I peeped, I saw, I recorded what passed before my eyes. I have said before in these blogs how characters seem to control your pen and this is precisely how it felt.
â€œThe moving finger writes: and having writ, moves on,â€ declared Omar Khayyam. Just so. I couldnâ€™t go back and head the characters off at the gulch, nor could I steer them one iota from the course to which they seemed committed. I was more like a commentator than an inventor, being complimented on my writing style rather like a TV guide to some social happening. This experience of being a conduit has happened to many other writers. You feel almost embarrassed when people say nice things. â€œAw shucks! donâ€™t flatter me, sing praises instead to the vital, mysterious source of my prose which gave vent to the divine effluvia that produced it.
Anyway, as I said, it is like being a medium, even if, in my case, a flawed one. What came out was not a perfect, glittering gem like Kublai Khan but required a deal of post-editing to sharpen it up. The experience felt Jungian, as though I was tapping into the universal unconscious and it feels like this should be taking the plaudits, not me!
Download Azimuth by Jack Sanger on Kindle Amazon or as a paperback and PDF at www.azimuthtrilogy.com
All my work can be found at www.chronometerpublications.me