1 Year 43 Days of Writing a Novel

09-20-2010

Lately, I’m obsessed with the theory of familiarity. The idea that certain paragraphs could be written as touchstones: magical emblems with memories locked inside, like insects buried in amber.

You could imagine a reader, rereading a favorite book…each paragraph could be something more than just an arrangement of words…they could be these touchstones, so that when a reader touches one…they remember all the other times they’ve read this moment….And it adds this lovely sort of nostalgia. The unlocked memory would add another moment, another layer to the one you’re reading.

And maybe I’m not just talking about rereading. Maybe you can feel something familiar the first time you pick up a book. Arranging the words, the moments, the everything in such a way that it becomes something more than a story

The idea that those characters and moments can be written in such a way as to feel like family, or memories. Does that make sense? Writing each chapter, each paragraph and sentence with a purposeful sense of familiarity? Almost as if I were lacing the words with a flavor, or a spell

This is alchemical thinking.

-mE.

Todd Rogers