I am no visual artist; I draw occasionally or scribble on the whiteboard when I am teaching to illustrate a point. I am in awe of what artists create but I also love seeing the progression of the image.
I like to see the process, the development of an idea from conception to completion. I am in the middle of looking at some ideas to work out some plot structures and it made me think of an artist and its applicability to writing.
The first draft of a new story is like the initial sketch or drawing. The form is laid out but the detail is lacking.
The novella I am working on (estimating a finished first draft by the end of March) is, right now, a sketch. The outline is there and the more I write, the more the form and detail is taking shape. I know that with subsequent edits and rewrites it will become more clarified and clearer.
With each new draft, with each passing edit, the image is revealed in finer and finer detail; the adding of new thematic colours, the detailing of characterisation with fine lines not broad definitions, the specifics of description in the background to bring it to the foreground, the encapsulation of the vision of the finished picture revealed in the infinite number of keystrokes and brush strokes.
We don’t see the chisel marks on Michaelangelo’s Statue of David or the brush strokes of the Mona Lisa; we marvel at its beauty and wonder at its complexity.
When you read one of my stories or poems, I don’t want you to see the work behind the scenes, I want to engage with you in the language of the text, for you to experience the world as presented, and to learn about yourself along the way.