The Art of Writing No. 2

Novelists of the clay kind may begin with a great first sentence, a single idea, something overheard, a personal itch or trauma – whatever – and it becomes like grit in the oyster forcing the imagination to create a pearl. Novelists of the lego kind like to gather a mass of data in which to immerse themselves; historical events, genre expectations, real life scenarios, technical detail etc and cut and paste them into a narrative. Whereas the clay type grows the novel, through accretion, allowing characters to form and plot lines to develop as they will, lego types sculpt from the mass that they have collected, obeying self-imposed rules to maintain consistency and characters to further the plot. William Golding tended to read one book on factual information so that he could get jargon, terminology right for verisimilitude in his sea trilogy whereas Luther Blisset in Q had a mountain of data relating to the reformation. In some senses the clay type is homeopathic in approach while the lego type if allopathic. While, as has been noted in the first blog, the one bleeds into the other, pick up any piece of fiction and you can show quickly whether the author is clay or lego oriented.
I am a clay writer:

Your Contribution

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *