“To write is divine. Forget all the rest.” Olivia de Havilland is 102

I always listen to Olivia, especially on her birthday.

Have you heard of this? The literary agent hypothesis? It’s a way of saying while writing fiction the author channels reality to make a compelling narrative. Or, as the old chestnut goes, write what you know. Additionally it means the characters “write” the book, and the author serves as their agent (oracle? medium?).

This gives me the feeling those involved in coming up with this theory have never sweated their way through creating a novel, but, I could be wrong. And there is a certain flow that happens when you’re in the zone and your fingers fly over the keyboard—which is always stopped up by the stony shoals of editing and rewrites.

Perhaps it’s time to let those characters speak, especially the ones clamoring to life on the page.

I’ll keep you posted on my powers of divination.

 

5 comments

    • Do you know if you don’t practice, you lose the knack! I just realized this. And sitting on the couch (with the drapes closed against the heat—yesterday was one for the record books) I am trying to remedy that.

      • I whistle on the couch pretty regularly! I recall my grandfather teaching me how to whistle. He’s also who taught me how to play chess. I haven’t played chess in more than 40 years. He’s also my main inspiration as a photographer. I finally shot a couple rolls of film with his camera this week! The color prints came back yesterday, and they’re pretty good. I can be happy with whistling and photography, and leave chess alone 😉

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