Life is full of questions, and don’t we know it. Most of us seek these answers.
To me an author is constantly questioning life, and their books/novels are often like a record of the answers they have found and would like to share.
I love to read the extra sections added to novels, such as forewords, Q&As, introductions and conclusions. These expose the authors thought process and the issue which they were aiming to tackle or expose. Most authors, when talking about the creation of their story would bring up the moment they thought of a theme or character, and they would explain the why’s and how’s, and the who’s and when’s they tried to answer in order to form the narrative.
Building an Idea
Let’s take a topic… such as beauty (since I’ve just finished reading Toni Morrisons, The Bluest Eye). We know what beauty is, but to turn it into a potential novel theme we need to know what beauty really is, what form does it come in. Why is beauty important? Why is it relevant to humanity, who is it relevant to? How is it relevant to certain people, what makes it relevant? When is it relevant, is it more apparent in some situations more than others? All these questions when then need to be applied to a setting or a person or a time and a place.
I find my questions on life give me a starting point. It can be a start to write a quick piece, but often find this method requires research, unlike the rest of the topics I mentioned during the week. What I find the most interesting is that there is never a straight answer, the element of ‘What if’ can keep an idea going.
“Life is filled with unanswered questions, but it is the courage to seek those answers that continues to give meaning to life. You can spend your life wallowing in despair, wondering why you were the one who was led towards the road strewn with pain, or you can be grateful that you are strong enough to survive it.”
― J.D. Stroube, Caged by Damnation