Saturday, September 5, 2015

Writing What Matters

"What actually happened is only raw material; 
what the writer makes of what happened is all that matters." 
--Vivian Gornick, memoirist [via article on writing literary memoir]
bink got feedback that her nearly done graphic retelling of the Camino was great reading for people who've walked or want to walk the route, 
but it was too much like a guidebook to be of interest to non-pilgrims. 

Did she want to rework it, after two years of work, from a literal to a literary memoir?
She did.

Her question changed from "what happened?" to something like "why does what happened matter?"

Since I walked Camino with her twice, we've talked a lot about the new version. 
I told her, "Cut me out of it."

It's a stronger story with only one main character: her. 
I gave her permission–– no, I pushed her ––to incorporate my story into hers.

That includes something very much "mine":
the poem my friend Barrett Newhall wrote about a dream of her coming death (from lung cancer) that she gave me to carry on Camino.

I'm 100% sure that Barrett, a writer herself, would agree it doesn't matter who carried the poem; 
it matters that it was carried for her to the End of the World, Finisterre, Spain. (And bink was a friend of Barrett too, just not as close.)

bink found what matters to her, and the rewrite [re-draw?] is flying along.
It's exciting to see it come to life. The main character is still walking with someone, it's just not me.
Here, from the re-worked beginning of bink's Camino graphic novel, posted on her blog My Camino Real
[you may need to scroll right to see it entire > > > ]


The Crow said...

Wow! Now I understand the pilgrimage part of the journey in a way I hadn't before. Thank you, bink and Fresca.

Fresca said...

That's great to hear, Crow!
I think bink has really opened the Camino up in a way I haven't seen before.

Zhoen said...

Ah, an admirable companion. Walks with us all, but rarely do we notice.

Fresca said...


bink said...

Thank you again for allowing me to co-op a bit of you into me, for the sake of a better story. :-)