travelling tales

A story is like a journey, for all of us - writer, characters, readers. We put down our everyday tools and understandings, and we take to the road of magic.

As the person with the pen & the plotline, I make my journey before everyone else, laying down words as I go so others may follow. Even so, there will be hazards along the way for me - forests, sudden storms, and a smiling stranger to coax me along a new, uncertain path (metaphorically speaking). I have perhaps the hardest journey of us, through my own tale. I must dream the road and make it, then walk it again and again - as writer, then the different characters, then reader too.

I believe a writer is responsible for the story-road. But she is helpless before the landscape across which she lays it. Some writers go with great, smoky diggers, so they can tear through hills and yank down any trees which don't suit their course. This isn't possible when writing a serial novel. I must travel light, with a bag of words and wishes and not much else, only one step ahead of everyone else on the wild, magic road. It's tricky, sometimes tiring, and always a beautiful experience. And to be honest, it's not much different from writing a blogpost (although longer), at least the way I do it. I start with a picture, and a moment of silence, and I let the words come. I'm never really sure where they're taking me. But almost always they have something to say by the end.

So writing is like life, don't you think? We ramble through the tangling days, unsure if there's any meaning. Watching always for clues and signposts, fretting about red herrings. When you're a writer, you learn quick enough that there never are red herrings. Everything is a possible path, a dream of the story. Everything means something, even if that something isn't aligned with the final sentence of the story. Because plot is nice, plot is comforting, but any old person can make a plot out of what they've just been through. Really, the journey itself is the meaning.


  1. I absolutely agree with you, Sarah. Writing is life itself. I like to say that writers save souls. xo