Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Truth versus Fiction

Almost three weeks ago I gave a talk and PowerPoint slideshow at the National Steinbeck Center about my novel East Garrison. I'd spent a lot of time preparing the slides and thinking about the "motivation" for writing the book, trying to make the talk interesting for the audience. Amazingly, the evening went very well, and I actually enjoyed myself. I'd decided after that talk that I'd put East Garrison to rest and get back to what I really love—writing. But this second book isn't at all like the first. This book is based on a true story, and it takes place in the mid-1800s. I find this so much harder to write. The desire to get the story correct is getting in the way of my writing. Seems like it'd be easier knowing the plot ahead of time, yet to me it's like trying to draw a picture with my left hand. (And I can't draw a stick figure with my right hand!) I'm a believer in nothing worthwhile being easy. If what you're writing is not what you want to write, and you find it difficult and want to quit, its gotta be gold, and you must stick with it until it's done. It'll be a miracle if I ever type "the end" to this story!

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