Read to write

After several hours of structuring my story for Invictus, I realized that writing about my own personal memories would not suffice. I knew I had to explore a different perspective on the theme of isolation, insecurity or self-denial, but wasn’t sure where to start.

“Make time to read and write,” said Brad during our meeting.

I understood that the majority of the Invictus process is writing–a lot of writing–but I never thought about reading other writers’ work that share a similar theme, structure or perspective to spark ideas and help develop my own story. Because let’s face it, when you’re out of ideas it’s time to do research and further explore the world.

The first thing I did was spend a couple of hours searching for books that I found similar to my story’s structure and theme. I also contacted other writers who recommended books that follow the non-linear structure, which includes flashbacks and jumps in time as the story progresses. “The Lighthouse” by Alison Moore and “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger are two examples.

Later that day, I miraculously came across an article on Daily Mail that talked about how deafness affected David Lodge’s life. Lodge is a novelist who wrote a book called “Deaf Sentence”, a story about the awkwardness of hearing loss and how embarrassing it can be, particularly if you refuse to admit you have a problem, which is what Lodge did. I was thrilled to have found a writer whose experience so closely relates to my own. I immediately walked to the library and checked out his book.

So when I’m not obsessing over Elizabeth Gilbert’s beautiful New Jersey home she is selling on Eat, Pray, Crib, I will be reading “The Lighthouse” to better understand the non-linear structure in storytelling and “Deaf Sentence” to get a different psychological perspective on how others are affected by hearing loss and the social stigmas that go along with that.