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Gwen Tuinman

NOVELIST

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creativity

On Writing to the Last Chapter

Maintaining focus for the duration of a novel is a lot like running a long distance. If you think you can, you can. A painter friend once told me that when they worked on a piece for over a month, boredom would set in. How did I stick with writing the same novel for two or three years?

The word compulsion leapt to mind. I’ve since distilled where that answer came from.

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Where Stories Live

Nothing kills story innovation faster than our inner critic. It’s counterintuitive, but when writing drafts, we need to turn our brains off. When we work from our conscious mind, the ego takes over. What a poor sentence! That character should be more likable. Does this even resemble a book page. Our writing choices become predictable and guarded. The inner editor pulls us away from the magic.

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On Time Elasticity and Writing

Last October, my husband and I moved to a rural property. Since the spring, we’ve planted a small apple and pear orchard and started cottage gardens. We’ve also dug fruit beds and created sixteen 5 x 15-foot market gardens. These projects are labours of love that require daily watering, weeding, and staking. Already, I’m harvesting vegetables and the task of food preservation begins.

I’m also a novelist dedicated to production goals. My inner critic natters in my ear. You’re not spending enough hours with your butt in the chair, it says. But when I step back and analyse the actual facts, I realize that in spite of this new diversion of my time, my output is the same as in winter when hours were more abundant.

This is cause for me to think about time.

Continue reading “On Time Elasticity and Writing”

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