The Prompter Room

For Thursday, March 3, 2016:


“The reason a writer writes a book is to forget a book and the reason a reader reads one is to remember it.”

Thomas Wolfe

Though I understand the basic premise of Wolfe’s statement, I don’t agree fully with the first part of it.  ‘Get it out of my system’ instead?   Yes, I can go with that.

That’s certainly what I had to do with my first novel, as well as a couple of unpublished non-fiction books I’ve written, but each of those had a particular agenda.  While I tried not to preach, I had a definite purpose for writing the novel and one of the NFs: I wanted to help change people’s thinking.  I still remember them, and likely always will – like I remember the gist of most of my poems – but they have been out of my system for a good while now.

The novel that is in process now is different.  I had and have no agenda other than to write a story that might be enjoyable – and hopefully memorable – for some readers.  At the same time, though, it’s been just as compelling to write because it kind of wrote itself.  Because I didn’t have an agenda this time, or even much of a plan or outline – and the little I did have didn’t last very long – I’ve enjoyed the craft of writing this one more.

In some ways, then, I expect I might remember this second novel even more than the first, but it is almost time to let it go to the back of the memory bank so I can start on the next one.

I’ve read that a novelist’s second book usually isn’t very good, but I’m not going to worry about that.  I’ve had fun writing this one, and I think that’s the most important thing.  Hopefully a few readers will see that and enjoy it, too.  Maybe some will even remember it for a while.


3 thoughts on “The Prompter Room

  1. I agree, Genie – one would write a book to ‘get it out of one’s system,’ though perhaps that’s what Wolfe meant. We all possess blind spots with regards to communicating our ideas clearly to others. Even ‘good’ writers! By the way, kudos for penning blogposts that are neither too long nor too short. It’s a gift, a craft, and one you seem to have mastered in short order. There are good folks out there who write, but long posts simply don’t get read by most of us. Salut! And another thing? You are one of the few good things to open Facebook to anymore. Sick of all the superfluous crap, these days. Be well, dear.


    1. Bless you, dear Bela, for such kind words! I think the annotations we had to do for school made a good training ground :-). Since I’m usually so wordy, I purposefully try to stay at 500 words max. Today’s post (3/5/16) was a little over that, and a recent one was in the 600s, and I can almost always say more, but it’s good discipline for me. And, I have to remind myself, they’re meant to be prompts, not treatises!

      I agree with you about Wolfe. I think that’s part of what he meant, too. That’s certainly how I feel when I write certain poems – the emotional release is visceral sometimes.

      Aloha and mahalo, dear Bela! Your feedback and comments always do my heart so much good!

      Liked by 1 person

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