I fell in love with the words of WB Yeats in 2004 and they inspired me to write a story. I hope you enjoy this magical animation of one of my favourite poems, set in the home of faeries, Sligo Ireland. If there was ever a place on earth when the afterlife connected to this world it is in Sligo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9hnUYV06t4&sns=em
I spent the day in the classroom doing a refresher course on grammar. The teacher was fantastic. The biggest takeaway for me was the message around the importance of clarity. It was a huge reminder about the reader’s experience and how easy it is to jar the reader out of the story flow. There is so much work to do around a manuscript (MS). I have chopped and rewritten and chopped and rewritten my MS 4 times. It is like the never ending process. It’s so hard to know when to stop and to send it out into the big wide world. I think I will be doing one more page turn. I want my MS to be well received like a child on their first day at school and as “the parent” it’s scary. Today I have been working on an outline where I have summarised my novel in a chapter by chapter format. I found that to be a great exercise in checking in with the character arc and plot set ups. It was easier than doing the pitch and the log line. Brevity is the toughest task but I am slowly getting there. I want to have all of the pitches; short and long, and the log lines, and the synopsis, and the chapter outline all set up, so I can tailor different submission packs to different agents depending on their stated requirements. Doing the pitch line is a little like trying to summarise the last 12 months of your life into a couple of sentences. It’s a tough gig.
The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins? Edgar Allen Poe 1850
Have you been able to really step into your heart and tell the truth in your story? I have finished my novel and am busy writing my submission packs. Summarising a novel into a pitch, a log line, a query and even a synopsis is tough. You really have to dig in deep and get to the soul of your story, and I think I have done it. I have lived with my story for six years. You would think I would be able to summarise it easily, but this has been a hard, and rewarding exercise. The challenge goes to the essence of what Winston Churchill meant when he said “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.” It’s hard to be brief.
To get to the heart of my story I decided to read Natalie Goldberg’s Writing the Bones. This book reminds you that writing is powerful when it really connects you to your true thinking. What is my novel about? After reading Natalie’s book and reflecting on why my story was born I was reminded that I was reaching into my heart and my belief that the dead still love. This wasn’t clear to me when I started writing my novel, but it did emerge with strength in my story.
So today I have rewritten the opening of my novel and am feeling confident that I can now go on to complete my submission pack. Ghosts don’t have to be scary. Ghosts are the energy of those that came before us. What ghosts would you like to spend some time with? For me, it’s my ancestors.
Every culture has an afterlife, a world beyond the world we know, and each has legends of creatures that haunt those worlds. Writers build fantastic worlds where heroes venture and all sorts of critters emerge to challenge them. But for many of us there is a real curiosity around what really happens after death. This is almost a taboo subject unless it is wrapped up in one of the religious faiths
What does THE afterlife, AN afterlife, look and feel like. In my creative writing I tackle this, and provide my interpretation. Some authors have tackled this very well. One of the best has been Mitch Albom in his beautiful story – The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Below is a link to the trailer to give you a sense of how Albom interpreted a view of heaven.
I have been told that writing of the afterlife is difficult because it’s hard to translate into words. I found it quite the contrary. As Albom shows us Eddie’s heaven I have created a heaven that gives me some sense of comfort and I believe these type of stories have entertained us for centuries and, when written from the heart, can help us talk about the importance of life’s journey.
What fiction have you read, or movies have you watched that have touched your heart and made you wonder, maybe… just maybe there is a heaven that you can truly relate to?
Carving My Niche.
This morning a wonderful person listened to me. Really listened. And then she sent me this blog link. I wanted to share it as I think the writer captures the heart of why we connect and why investing in building relationships with those with similar passions is so good for the soul. Enjoy.