Friday, January 4, 2013

The Writing on the Wall

Faulkner's Greek Revival 1840s home
     Over Christmas break, my family and I traveled the South - Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana - for a whirlwind 1,300-mile, five-day trip. 
His quaint writing room
     Our main objective on this trip, besides finding the best local places to eat, was to take in as much regional history as we could. We LOVE the national parks; we've been to at least 150, coast-to-coast. One place we stopped isn't a national park, but it should be! Instead, Rowan Oak, William Faulkner's home in Oxford, Mississippi, is owned by the University of Mississippi. The house and property are lovely and peaceful, and I can see why Faulkner was so inspired by the place. 
     I've done posts on story-mapping, the brainstorming stage, and the revision process. I've read much on other writers' strategies. But I've never seen it in action like I did inside Faulkner's writing room. He outlined one of his books (The Fable, I think?) on two of the walls. It's still there, written in graphite and red grease pencils.
Part of his plot outline for The Fable
     I wonder if outlining plots on his walls was a one-time effort? Are there other plots hidden under the layers of whitewash in that room? And how many writers who've visited Rowan Oak over the years have been struck by the notion of going home and writing on their own walls? I know I was.

5 comments:

  1. I've got so many things hanging on the walls of my office that I can hardly find a free square inch. The idea of a blank slate and the freedom to scrawl across an expanse of wall sounds marvelous though!

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    1. I agree! I've covered my wall with Post-Its before, but it didn't have the same effect as what I saw in Faulkner's home. LOL!

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  2. Wow. I love this. I usually spread pages all over the floor but a clean wall I do have. Not sure how the husband would feel though.

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    1. Mine wouldn't be too happy either, Regina. Nice to see you here! Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Extremely interesting. It shows the human side of a fantastic author. I wonder the strategies of other classic writers.

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