I took a break from creative writing over the festivities of 2018-2019, mulling over the progress of my Cornish Detective series, after completing the fifth story. Recharging my batteries seemed to help my enthusiasm, so I returned to querying in February, sending off 88 submissions. It’s as well to remember that what we do in creating stories isn’t a sprint, but more of a marathon with obstacle courses thrown in!
While reading about writing, I found this lovely lecture by Zadie Smith called That Crafty Feeling. It was originally given to the students of Columbia University’s writing programme in New York on Monday 24th March 2008. The brief: “to speak about some aspect of your craft.”
There’s an excerpt of her reading from her lecture here:
It’s worth a few minutes of your time to read. I recognised much of what she says about the relationship a writer has with their book. She uses the terms ‘Micro Planners’ and ‘Macro Planners’ to differentiate between the two main types of writers, more commonly known as ‘Pantsers’ and ‘Planners’. I’m definitely a Micro Planner or Pantser, though I do make vague plans on scraps of paper to guide my plotting.
I am at her ‘step away from the vehicle’ stage with my five novels, written over the last four years. It’s been a valuable period of reconsideration, and I’m glad that I didn’t rush to self-publish them.