The Premises of a Novel

The story of my novel started about a year and a half ago. I was pregnant up to my eyes, bound to my couch, with many characters running through my head. They decided to set up home in my head until I put them down on paper. However, I didn’t know what to do. What did they want from me? Why were they showing up now? What can they bring? To this day, I still don’t have an answer to these questions, but one thing is sure, they’ve enabled me to reveal myself and feel fulfilled. To read the next, clik the link

Reveal myself in the sense that I discovered myself through these characters. Each one of them reflect a part of my personality. You know, that one thing everyone searches for that is hidden under all the criticism and layers of unavoidable phrases of our education. The personality hidden behind the character and image that we want to show to others, but is often hidden by a modified self.

They fulfilled me because I have never enjoyed myself so much in my life. Once the decision was taken, I installed myself in front of my computer, took a deep breath and exhaled. I closed my eyes and hop…I laid my fingers on the keyboard like a pianist ready to play a melody. The adventure had begun. At that precise moment, a flood of stories came gushing out on to my computer. So, I started to write…as if all my characters adventures, their state of minds, or even their happiness depended on one thing: to leap out of me to surf the waves of « book-life ».

I opened the doors to all my thoughts, to all my emotions so that they could be laid out on paper (well, on a blank page of Word). My ideas passed from my brain to my fingers, taking over the keyboard. The most complicated thing was not the blank page, no, it was putting my thoughts into order “ something that was not easy to do. Imagine, 34 years of frustration. My ideas gave way to joy.

My characters had taken shape. They had grown in confidence and self-assurance. They became beings in their own right and accepted me to play a part in their world. I lived every moment of their lives. I observed them. I followed them in their paths. I heard their thoughts, their criticisms, their joys. Across the pages, they became my friends. As soon as I am with them, I am engulfed in another world, where time doesn’t exist

After one month of scribbling, enclosed in my apartment, I decided to take myself into the garden. Under the sun rays, that delicately caressed my skin, I was in the middle of writing down and refining each character’s personality traits when a friend came and sat next to me and straight-out asked « You’re not in the middle of writing a novel are you?.  I choked, coughed, then cleared my throat and turned and looked at her. Pleased with my reaction, she calmly added « because if that’s the case, I would love to read it!  » The universe couldn’t have sent me a clearer sign. Someone wanted me to write. It’s from that moment that I said to myself, Write. Why not? That’s what i’m going to do.»

So, I worked even harder. I started to write more and more, trying to fit in to my characters, to let them out and interact with one another. All these characters who become more and more real across the pages, took over my hands and picked at my brain. The hardest thing at this moment, was to know how I was going to tell their stories. I’m not talking about through detail, intrigue or dialogue. You’ve got it, I am talking about my style of writing.

The great ones of this world talk about « a writer’s style », however, when you are a young writer, fresh out of the water, it’s not something easy to define. A writer’s style is an expression of oneself, quite easy to understand. However, to put into practical, it’s another thing all together. So, I tried many styles. I edited two or three versions of my first chapter, of my first phrase and to the dismay of my friend (the « discoverer » of my talent), she was introduced to all versions. If I am not mistaken, she read at least four version of my first chapter, three versions of the novel itself, and I’m sure there’s more that I’ve forgotten! I even managed to bring her mother along this adventure, who looked over one version. Of course, my partner also had his fair share, but I’ll talk about him later.

I’m wandering… I’m wandering… we agree that a writer’s style is essential in a novel. But, how does one define theirs? It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.

I took a moment to find out which style suited me. Seated at my dining table, I wrote down what was important to me. I thus determined the language that I wanted to use, the literacy techniques that I wanted to apply, everything that I wanted to put forward. In other words, I decided to write my story through a rather steady language, that coincides with today’s reality. I decided to be an author on the outside looking in. However, I wanted to know all my characters thoughts and secrets, and hopefully reveal them to you progressively throughout the story. I am omniscient, I am everywhere, and know each character like the backs of my hands. With regards to the style techniques, they came throughout he progression of my writing.

It’s at that moment the book took form. I’ll also admit that it’s also at that moment that a slight anguish took over me. I kept asking myself: « What if I am not made to be a writer? » « What if my intrigue is meaningless? » « What if my writing is flat and monotonous? » What if? what if? Such anguish can really take over you, making you feel breathless and trapped.

After several days of intense stress, the “discoverer” of my talent (ha, yes, that’s her nickname now), dragged and forced me out of my apartment to lighten my mood. Breakfast in the garden, straight talking fun and laughter of all kinds were the highlight of this morning. When we were heading back to our homes, my friend told me « Listen, you will see where this novel will take you, but, if like you say, the universe brought you on this path, then it isn’t for you to fail half way through. It’s your destiny my darling. As for me, I’m impatiently waiting for the following chapters. » (In your head, you hear the song from Les Inconnus, « It’s your DESTINY » Go ahead, sing along. Wiggle in your chair or on your couch, it can make you feel better). So, I started to write again. It was only just the beginning of a long path of writin

OK! We’ve just gone over how I defined my writing style, which is the most technical part of writing a novel. Without speaking of the structure of the book itself, the chapters, the paragraphs, the dialogue etc. We have gone over my little moment of stress, but the most key point to me, is the tone that the text will take. By the way, my philosopher friend (I’ll tell you a little bit more about how he became my friend. You’ll see that I take great pleasure in talking to him) he is my guide in this adventure. From the start of our discussions he said « Audrey, the most important thing is to find the tone of your book. Once you have it and you possess it, your novel will write itself!) Ha, well he was right!

OK, it’s not enough to find it, you have to pamper it, tame it, to become at ease with it. After a certain time, this famous « tone » became my friend. Always by side, encouraging me in my trials, pushing me to go further so that I can get rid of my fears, to reach higher. Strangely, during these moments, my writing became fluid and I knew where I was going. In fact, the tone is the key to everything! You have to let it all go.

When I write, in perfect sympathy with my tone, that has become a second me, nothing else exists around me. Outside noise no longer stops me. I’m becoming a calmer and more serene person who smiles while writing her book. It’s this supreme happiness that I want to put out to my readers

One thing was certain, it was out of the question that I write in a sad, angry or morbid manner. No! I needed colour, happiness, joy. Where do we find these principles?… in humour! My novel is written through a humourous tone.

 

What better way than to bypass misfortune, mystery and drama. In my opinion, nothing!

Careful, I’m not necessarily talking about irony. Although…

I’m talking more about a way to approach life.

You have to apprehend humour like a medication, that relieves all your pain, and that allows you to take a step back from life… so, smile! 🙂

Publié par Audrey Lucido, the August 28th, 2017. Translate by Helen Ben Othman.

 

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