Communion Of Dreams

Internal excitement.

If you’ve never attempted to write a long (as in book-length) work of fiction, it might be difficult to understand what the process is like. Worse, it seems like every writer out there has their own entirely different experience of the process. Or more than one experience of the process, to be more accurate. Lord knows I seem to go through many different stages.

Which is why it is hard to find any instruction manual about writing long fiction that is worth a damn.

But I thought I would share this insight from my current stage of working things out for writing the prequel to Communion of Dreams: it’s like playing 3-D Tetris.

Seriously, that’s what it feels like. Like each of the different components of the plot & characters is an oddly-shaped piece rolling around in my head, turning this way and that, looking to fall into the correct position relative to all the other pieces. And as I juggle each different piece I make small changes, looking to find the best way that each one fits together into a comprehensive whole.

And when a piece lands into place, if there isn’t a little ‘jolt’ of excitement, then I know that there’s something wrong, and that the piece really doesn’t belong there, no matter how well it seems to fit at the time. Obviously, at this stage everything is very intuitive – the more analytic and logical work will come later in the actual writing. But first, I have to build this internal sculpture, find the overall shape of the thing. Only once that is done can I really make much headway in trying to describe the form (to extend the metaphor a bit too far).

What’s good is that as I have been spending more and more time & energy mulling over these different components, these different pieces, I’ve been getting more and more of these little jolts of excitement.

It’s a very good feeling.

Jim Downey

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