Thursday, November 29, 2018

Don Pendleton on Writing

Excerpt from Don Pendleton's "The Metaphysics of the Novel, The Inner workings of a Novel and a Novelist." 
"To get way down deep, though, the novel provides the deepest and most lasting insights, those movements of mind that come closest to defining the human reality.  I also write books of non-fiction and these allow me to grapple with concepts and realities which may lose a bit of credibility in a fictional format, so I am fortunate that my fiction has opened other publishing doorways for me–but I suppose that the novel will always be my main dish because it is such a hellacious challenge.  I never know where a novel will take me, the consummate characters I might find there, the adventure and fascinating locales, the truths I will discover while traveling the high and low roads with my characters." 

"It is really not that difficult to get started as a writer.  All you really need is a few hours of free time each day, pencil and paper, an inquiring mind.  During my first ten years as a writer I was also, at first, an air traffic controller, later an aerospace engineer and deeply involved in the Moon Shot program.  By the time I was able to wean myself from the security blanket of a "respectable career," I had produced (and published) some twenty minor novels, none of which earned me great bundles of money but at least gave me some sense that my six kids would not go hungry while "Dad" was trying to build a new career as a writer."

"Okay, yeah, there were a couple of times during the early going when I was about ready to forget the dream and slink back into industry to shoulder my family responsibilities but I hung it through and within a year I was off and running well, doing better financially than ever before, and I have never "looked back" again.  I got lucky, sure, but there was more to it than luck.  I had a dream, I had a vision, and I had reached a point in my life when "I could not bear" to not play God with my dreams."

"Thirty years later, I am still "not looking back."

Copyright 2000 Linda Pendleton.  Available at Amazon and Kindle.

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