Inspiration and a backlash against Realism

I read a great little article by Writers Edit on staying inspired as a writer. I agree with the author on many of her points. Though I am finding that reading ‘Art Objects’ by Jeanette Winterson is changing my perspective on books reflecting real life. I’m not as convinced by the argument that all writing (fiction) is based on life or should be. Jeanette makes the point that this kind of Realism come from the Victorian era and reflects a backlash against the Romantics who embraced innovation, imagination and art for arts sake. Realism was focused creating fiction that reflected “real life” and had a certain didactic quality that was very socially “responsible” in its message. Jeanette makes the argument that books do not have to be (and shouldn’t) just be a version of everyday life; that novels are in fact not a version of certain facts, but a whole new reality to be entered and understood. In a way she is concerned with what is at the heart of a novel, that it goes beyond just mimicry of life.

A great break down of her book can be found here.

I’m doing the National Novel Writing Month challenge!

I keep saying I’m getting back into my first and most passionate love, fiction, but perhaps because I want to do the genre so much justice, I am some what paralised.

It was rereading Anne Rice’s The Vampire Lestat that I felt that old surge of “THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO WRITE!” It’s an important emotion you know? It really does help to have sense of why you want to write and what topics inflame the desire to make time for the act of it.

So from feeling that I wanted to write tragic, hopeful, deeply philosophically focused fiction I had the flash of inspiration that what could help is the National Novel Writing Month. I had also said I would sign up. So I am fulfilling two promises to myself and feeling a smudge proud.

You can follow my progress if you also sign up, my user name is rachael and jane.