Meet Martin Crosbie, he always wrote stories.As his adventures, and misadventures, took him from Kilmarnock, Scotland, to Vancouver, Canada, he recorded his memories in a series of journals. Today, he's turning those journals into novels.
When not writing, or running long distances, Martin shares his life in Vancouver, with his partner Jacquelyne, and Spock, the most spoiled cat in the world.
Martin, thank you for guest blogging today. I've enjoyed chatting with you online and reading your blog. I haven't read your book yet, but I'm going to get it today!
Every writer has a muse that gets them going. Every writer has trepidations about how to get the story down. And every writer eventually goes somewhere deep when they write.
Martin gives us a look at his experience.
You crawl into this dark, dark hole, and at first, there’s nothing there. There might be people around you, there might even be music playing, or in my case, there might be a window in front of you that looks out into your nudist neighbour’s yard. It doesn’t matter, the hole is still dark, and there’s nothing there. There’s nothing there until you start putting things there, and turn the story that’s in your head, into a story on your computer screen.
I don’t know anything about how you should write your novel, or your story, and, in writing this blog, I’ve hesitated to talk about the art of writing too much. No, that’s incorrect, I haven’t hesitated-I’ve avoided doing it. I have a theory. I mean, I’ve written one novel. Now, it’s doing fairly well, and I feel I did a very good job on it, but, it’s one novel. There are writers out there who have much more experience than I do that can talk about the art of writing, and what it means to put your thoughts into words and type those words onto your monitor. The other thing is, I don’t think people who come to my website or read this blog on one of the other sites that it’s posted, want to read about writing. I think most of you are readers, not writers, and I don’t think that the art of writing probably interests you very much. I might be wrong though, and some of the folks that are helping me promote “My Temporary Life,” think that I am wrong. So, I’m going to talk about climbing into the hole.
I hate it and love it at the same time. When I wrote “My Temporary Life” I was in the hole for almost two years, and that’s a long time to spend there. There was the initial climb in, when I had the basic story that I wanted to tell. Then, there was the climb out when I thought I was finished, and then, there was the climb back in, again, and again, as I worked on bringing the story to life and telling it the way it deserved to be told. In between the times that I spent sitting at my desk writing, there were trips in my car with no music, thinking about Malcolm and Heather and Hardly, and how I could tell their story without compromising. And, there were times when I went running through the city streets, or sometimes even on the treadmill, when I would phase out, and immerse myself in the world of Kilmarnock of 1976, or Vancouver of the nineties. Oh, it can be a fun trip, especially when you have that epiphany, and it all starts to fit together, and you can’t wait to write it down. But, it can be a strange trip too, and I’ll share some of it with you. It’ll especially interest you if you’re considering crawling into the hole yourself and writing your story.
First of all, you will talk to yourself. Yes, you will. You will be in your car, or in a restaurant, or sitting at your desk at work, and you will be mumbling about fathers, and school-teachers, and whatever else is happening in Kilmarnock or Vancouver at the time, or wherever your story takes place. And, people will notice. They won’t say anything to you. Oh, they’ll stare, but they probably won’t say anything to you. And, even if they do, you can always tell them, “it’s okay, I’m a writer.” That might work. I never tried it, I just stared back, but it might.
Secondly, you will lose touch with reality. The outside world will quite often be the less real of your two worlds, and the world you are creating will be your new reality. I was fortunate in that I enjoyed spending time with my main character, Malcolm, or I suppose the more accurate way to say, it would be, I enjoyed being Malcolm for almost two years. And, I had a pretty good idea that things were going to turn out okay for him, or as good as they could be. That brings me to my newest project, the as yet untitled second novel. I have an amazing story to tell. It was told to me by a gentleman who I met several years ago, on two occasions. The story takes place over a twenty-seven year period, so, even after researching the facts, I had to fill in a lot of the details, and of course, just like my first book, I called it fictional. I love the tale, and I’m relishing bringing all of the details to light, but the first step is, yep, you got it, climbing into that hole.
I’ve climbed in approximately seventeen times now. By this I mean the initial climb in. This is when you stick your head in and have a look around and try to figure out the best way to tell it. That means, whose point of view do you tell it from? Which tense do you use? And, one of the most important things that I learned after writing “My Temporary Life,” where does it fit? Is it a romance, or a thriller, or an adventure novel? Which genre is it? This is important because when it comes to putting it on a shelf, the bookseller, whether by electronic means, or in a brick and mortar store, needs to be able to classify it somewhere.
Well, as usual, this new novel has elements of all those genres. The good news is that I have found a way in. I have climbed into the hole and stayed there long enough to begin the story in a way that doesn’t compromise its integrity. I have some flow. When I re-read my work, I like the way it’s being told. In fact, I am so happy that I hope to be able to share some it with you on my website within the next few weeks, just to give you a taste of what’s coming. So, if you’re looking for me over the next few months, I’ll be out running the streets, still training for my upcoming marathon, or sitting at my computer writing the story of the gentleman that I met some years ago. If you happen to see me somewhere, and I’m mumbling to myself, ignore it, I’m just a writer, working away, in the hole, and when I’m in the hole, I don’t see anything. I don’t notice people around me, or hear music, or even notice what’s happening out the window in my nudist neighbour’s yard. Nope, don’t notice a thing, nothing at all.
You can keep up to date on his newest adventures, and read his opinions on everything from Punk Rock to how he's training for his next marathon at http://www.martincrosbie.com/.