Unexpectedness and Multiplicity

Writers, if they are worthy of that jealous designation, do not write for other writers. They write to give reality to experience.

— Archibald MacLeish

It is always the unexpected words that please the most. I have my plans, though they don’t always come to fruition. This is the small story of the story that has come, of its own accord. Other plans can wait.

Is it the idea that has taken root first, or the first line, or the outline sketch of a character? I don’t know where this emerging story has come from. What I know is I would like to find out where it is, in the now, the now I write it as. I write here in a pause from writing there. I write here because I have to write whatever I have to write whenever it needs to be written. Now is all we have. I write here, in a pause from writing there, because I’m just waiting, waiting. You know? It’s not a block or an impasse: it’s a point of just sitting back to ‘watch’. I don’t know if this makes sense.

When you’re also a writer, do you go through lines like these . . .? Waking, dull, thinking I need to write but it isn’t strong enough, this writing I have done; sitting, reading, thinking I will write because it is the possibility of something here; writing, immersing, thinking here is something, here this is; pausing, hungry, in a liminal space between this world and the other. You know?

This is why I get this down now. If I move, it falls away.

There are many reasons why novelists write, but they all have one thing in common: a need to create an alternative world.

— John Fowles

There are many worlds. Here ‘amongst’ me there is the world of my assumed reality; there is the world of my creations, taken away by them as I am — albeit slightly removed just here and right now; there is the world of the very here and the very now, in which I wallow or I swim when I concoct on this page (this here is a world, and some version of you meets some version of me in it). We switch between worlds like choosing between books.

It is always the unexpected to please the most: I did not expect these words here to delve into this world, but as I’m here I may as well take a look around. I’m pleased to ‘meet’ you. Which you do I address? A writer may really only address an audience of one (so some of them can be quoted as saying), and here this is you; though which you do I address? Don’t tell me that you don’t see: you’re split down the middle, lengthways, many ways. Which is the ‘real’ you. Some version of me meets some version of you.

I am not a novelist, though I may one day be. I am not a poet, outwardly, though I am truly. I do have a need to write some alternative world, though really I’m not sure why. I do have a need to place the fragments of those worlds down, when they come to me, because if I don’t I lose them, and if I move it all falls away.

A wondrous dream, a fantasy incarnate, fiction completes us, mutilated beings burdened with the awful dichotomy of having only one life and the ability to desire a thousand.

— Mario Vargas Llosa


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