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Gwen Tuinman

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Writing and Waiting

Writing involves a lot of waiting. If you’re a fiction writer, you know exactly what I mean. First we wait for the spark of an idea, that miraculous vibration felt in our core when a song or an image or a turn of phrase tells us this is the one. This is the kernel of truth upon which we can build more truths and a fully inhabited world. Yes, this could be a novel. We snatch up the nearest pen and paper to jot ideas before they dissipate. To miss recording them would mean more waiting.

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Writing Through Insomnia

Insomnia is the canary in my mineshaft.  Just when I think I know what I’m doing in a novel, it swoops in to chirp that I don’t know what I’m doing at all. After staring at the darkened ceiling for hours, I realize there’s flawed logic to be resolved. Too clever for my own good, I’ve painted my protagonist into a corner, corralled him or her into thinking or doing something contradictory to their true self. I dislike an unsolved riddle. A loose end is torture. Until I’ve figured out how to step out of that corner and continue onward, there’ll be no sleep.

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