The Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo has supposedly been questioned by a fan concerning his sculptures. Specifically, it is said that he was asked how he could create such a vividly lifelike sculpture as was his famous David.
Supposedly, Michelangelo responded: “It is easy. You just chip away the stone that doesn’t look like David.”
It seems that no one can tell if that quote is true or not, but everyone keeps repeating it anyway.
What does it have to do with writing?
Simple: writing goes by the same principle, only in reverse. A writer doesn’t chip away anything, of course (at least not until he’s editing); he is adding words to what he has already written.
Therefore, if I may use the above quote: writing is easy; you just write down only the words that tell the story.
This is how I feel.
Once I’ve started the process of writing, it is relatively easy. I know what is happening and what is supposed to happen after that. I “just” have to find the time to write it all down.
I know that many writers make careful plans for their books, and the results are great. I, however, sit down and write. When getting started, I don’t know much about my story other than the bare beginning. Later, and the more I advance, the storyline emerges – literally reveals itself to me – and all I do is write it down. In fact, I have no choice but to write down what already exists in my mind. It feels as if I didn’t come up with the ideas but that it is dictated to me.
(I passed the 20,000 word mark today and hope to write much next week. The story is burning my mind and I need to get it out….)