I came across this fantastic quote about writing by acclaimed American author Donna Tartt. A New York Times Book Review article from 20 October 2013, interviewed Ms Tartt prior to the release of her new book, The Goldfinch.
Tartt, who shies away from publicity, became an instant celebrity when her first novel, The Secret History, about murderous Classics students on an idyllic New England college campus, was published in 1993.
I love this view into the author’s creative process. When you start writing a novel, you often have images and bits and pieces of the story. Often, you’re not quite sure how they will weave themselves together.
I’m not a believer in a strict outline, because I like imagery and random ideas to work their way into the story. In writing, I’m always amazed where the figment of an idea or an image can take me, introducing new storylines or new characters. Therefore, a quote like this naturally appeals to me. I like the idea in trusting our subconscious to understand what we’re doing, even if we, as writers, might not have reached the same conclusions in our active thought processes.
And you, writers? What do you think of Ms Tartt’s advice to trust in our subconscious guiding us in developing our stories? Have you done this in the past?