Saturday, May 13, 2006

Novel Ideas

What is an idea for a novel? I think we'd agree that the seed for a novel exists in every conversation we overhear and in every stray sight we see. This is true whether we find ourselves in Paris or in Boise, whether the conversation or sight is dramatic or undramatic, whether we encouter it early in the morning on the way to work or late at night in our dreams. We see a taxi driver get out of his cab and he is wearing a certain expression--a novel could get woven around that look. Our friend tells us a story about an insult she received--a novel could get woven around that insult. There are ideas for novels everywhere, since a novel is just the stuff of life organized and punctuated in the writer's idiosyncratic way.

--Eric Maisel, A Writer's Paris, p. 128


Blogger Jim Thompson said...

What a profound outlook! If a writer can't find an idea for a novel, she's either living with her eyes and ears closed, or she doesn't know what a story is. My problem isn't failure to observe, but failing to remember my observations until I can write them down.

2:40 PM  

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