So, this is the final guest blog piece for 2011, I figure most of you will be away and relaxing after this week anyway! We’ll start matters off again in mid January 2012. Kathryn has only recently released a new novel and is very much a growing voice in the SA scene. This is a lovely piece form her, so I hope you enjoy it!
WHERE DO I GO WHEN I WRITE?
By Kathryn White
This morning I dreamt that a friend and I lived in a marble palace in Paris. To get there you had to walk under a canopy of buildings that crowded into a cobbled passage. The marble was smooth to the touch and warm, like only white marble can be. The surfaces were soft and shined. We lived there, but it was open day and so we joined the people who walked around, moving from one magnificent room to the next. In one room I stopped and looked out and saw acres of green lawn and fountains, a pale blue sky above.
I think this might be where my ideas come from. Not a white, marble palace in particular, but a world that is entirely created, without my input. I am serious about the acquisition of thoughts and ideas – I make sure that my brain is constantly fed and stimulated – but once the acquisition has taken place I trust the ideas will melt into my subconscious and un-conscience. Once there, I have no control over the amalgamation process.
When I am writing I find these worlds. Sometimes, I am flabbergasted. I can consciously walk around, open a cupboard to see what’s inside, turn around in a 360, as if my eyes are inside the space. I can even smell; I follow music down a passage, open a door, find no one.
In my newest novel, Things I Thought I Knew, the characters arrived in this world and did whatever they pleased. This is frustrating. Like someone will not kiss the person they are supposed to. Or, will run off, into the back of a scene. In these cases I force an outcome. This either works, or it doesn’t. These characters are an unpredictable bunch. But I learnt to let them do what they want.
Once this “presented world” is down I can start crafting. Inside the world (that I now practically live in) I can change things. Sunset. Pink please. No, no. I need rain. Can it rain? I look up the weather in the region at that time of the year. No. Rain is unusual. Right. I want it to rain, because I want her hair to be wet, so I am going to need to add markers in before this moment, so that the reader knows that it will rain and that the rain will be unusual. Fantastic. That means “something” is going to happen. Like the lions that roam the streets after Caeser is murdered, the natural order has been interrupted. Is the “something” that happens in association with this rain enough? No. Let’s up the drama a bit. And in walks a new character, with a letter in his hand. Goodness gracious! Why the hell does he have a letter? I lean in and open it … Outside, the rain starts to fall.