Birth of a Story


It has often been said the writing of a story, a novel is like giving birth. I am not sure about that, as one look at my photo and the amazement of childbirth I have obviously not fully experienced. As a father you can feel the kicking, watch the growth of your child though ultra-sound, reading and talking to your child as they grow inside of the mother’s womb and even be there at birth, but you will never experience the gift a mother feels as the new life grows inside of her. The creation of story is an incredible release of something inside of the writer that in the beginning, at conception, is growing from a mere idea, to vivid images and thoughts that grow in you until it is born, is given life.

One of my bosses once said to me, “You can’t be passionate about everything?” I understood his point, as at times one’s passions can have you lose focus on the task at hand. However, when it comes to writing, it is those passions, life’s experiences that feed the story providing the nutrition for the story to grow into something powerful, meaningful and lasting.

One of my favorite quotes is “If your writing doesn’t have a point, why write.” It is through issues of social justice, human rights, poverty, education, the rights of children, photography and the sustainability of our planet that feed my imagination to look at what was, what is and what could be. I use my blog to write and express my thoughts and ideas about all my passions. Blogging for me has had a positive impact on my writing. It has taught me to take an idea, read, research, and expand my understanding and then write. Just write.

When writing, even sleep is different. Dreams are more vivid, more real, more dramatic. The world around you changes. Faces of strangers become characters, the simple becomes complex and for the mind there is no peace, no rest, just words bouncing about trying to get out. Long walks on the beach, staring out the window to the casual onlooker may appear to be times of relaxation, but when you are in the midst of writing, the story is always there. Lurking in your subconscious making you appear distant and lost. People talk and their words fall in amongst all those other ideas and thoughts and sometimes disappear without a response. Writing can be solitary, but never lonely as the characters take life, become real.

I have started my next novel so conception has occurred, each word, every sentence seems to reach a point where it takes on a life of its own, Where each word leads to the next and before long that mere idea you started with evolves. Characters are created breeding new life, new conflict, raw emotions and at times I no longer feel I am writing the story but it is using me as the scribe.

The birth of a story is exciting and more that just a little frightening. Like raising a child, you give it your time, your love and attention but you don’t always have control and eventually, once released out of your arms and into the world, then a new life and journey will begin.

About jameswhoddinott

My novel 'When Eagles Dare to Fly' represents my belief that good will always triumph over evil and by developing who we are on the inside we will find our way. My newest novel 'The Fates' was released earlier this year that examines a society that discovers immortality. I have a blog called an 'Author, blogger and his musings' which talks about my writing, political issues as well as other areas of interest like education, art and photography,
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