Tip: To meander is as crucial as to stay the course.
Context: And I will quote her here, this is in the chapter THE BIG PICTURE - MACRO-EDITING and it is under the sub-heading of Intention:
The intercourse between intention and spontaneity shapes any creative act. We make a plan to more or less control our art, while life's vagaries continually urge us to ignore the plan and let our work respond freely to what's around it. To meander is as crucial as to stay the course. We discover, as we wander, new meanings in our work that we carry back to the narrative highway. It can be hard to know whether, at a given moment, we should stick to our plan or follow a whim. If you veer off the main route, you risk getting lost even as you make important discoveries: if you stay on track, you get where you are going but risk boring the reader with an intention too single-minded and obvious. As k yourself: Are you wandering in order to stimulate a work that's staid? Or to avoid the apparent tedium of moving straight ahead? In other words, are you being inspired or undisciplined? If it's the latter, force yourself back to the highway.
My Thoughts: First of all - this is a delightful book. Gwen picked it up and accidentally left it here yesterday. I'll have it read in short order but I think I'll order one myself as I love the way it is written and it has bits of interviews with wonderful writers like Michael Ondaatje on the art of the edit.
Next of all - As many of you might remember, I grew up in a travelling family. My dad was in the air force so we were always on the move. When we weren't actually packing up and heading out, we'd still hit the road for holidays. Now my Dad was a shun-piker. Oh, you don't know what that is? Well, a shun-piker is a person who shuns the pike - the main road. He loved a good meander especially if we didn't have to get somewhere at a certain time. Sure sometimes we'd get lost but I don't remember ever worrying about it. We might not know where we were but we knew who we were. And my dad is a confident, cheerful and resourceful person so we relaxed in our meandering.
I would like my readers to be able to enjoy the fact that I am a meandering shun-piker myself. That is a rhythm I can employ in my literary fiction fully. The pace can be slow as suspense isn't nearly as important as developing a slow juicy story. In my mysteries I need to keep more to the highway or at least keep the highway in view when I meander off of it. The pace of a mystery is tighter than other fiction and needs a firmer hand. That's what I think. How about you?
my dad and my sis set out for a meander...