This website is an archive of an experiment – the Labyrinth experiment.
I began work on it in 2001 with my husband, Greg Mosse, and a team of Icelandic designers. I wanted to know if it was possible, using the internet, to share my creative process. I wanted to know if I could fully, completely show how it was that my imagination came up with certain characters, certain locations, certain events …
Much of what an author wrestles with is structure. When are certain facts revealed? Do I need another character here? Have I let the pace drop? Am I going too quickly for the reader to take this in?
Bu these things only become important once inspiration has been found.
My experiment was, then, to discover this:
- if I share everything with you, the reader of the novel, will you reach the same conclusions, the same relationships of characters and locations and events that I did.
Stanislawski encourages actors to talk themselves through all the things that have happened to their character before they step out on to the stage. This website tried to tell a similar set of stories – those that led to my novel Labyrinth.
Imagine yourself in a room. Now, look around. Who do you see? Friends, acquaintances, strangers. Who attracts your attention? The woman by the door deeply engrossed in conversation … the tall man who stoops … Now imagine that they are characters in a book, waiting for their stories to be written …
We have all had that experience as readers. Wishing that the author had told us more about her, say, and less about him. Wanted to know what happened to the characters after the last page had been read and the book closed. After my first novel came out, I received many letters from readers asking what had happened to Sam, the lead character. Had her affair with Peter worked out? Had she kept in touch with her mother?
That is the power of writing. That if you breathe life – I mean, really breathe life – into your characters, they don’t die when the book is closed.
I wrote these pages in collaboration with my husband, Greg, who is a teacher as well as a writer. We work together teaching creative writing at West Dean College in Sussex (click the link and look for creative writing for more information). I hope they bring you closer to the mysterious alchemy that makes the story the writer wants to tell the story that the reader wants to read.
The past is in the Labyrinth.