Tag: novel

A Raindrop Falls to Beethoven’s 5th

By James Wadman

Many people doubt our significance in this vast universe, and for good reason. I discuss this subject on and off from different attitudes because it is important to weigh both our significance and insignificance when making important decisions in life. My overall opinion on the matter is no secret, and has remained relatively constant for the last few years: I think of the entire spectrum of conscious, human life on earth with the analogy of a raindrop on its descent to the ground. If some tiny world in this raindrop suddenly gained consciousness, does it have any effect on the storm? No, it will simply carry on its transient journey until it becomes a splash in a puddle.

Insignificant, yes. Grim even, perhaps. However, something occurred to me the other day that fits into this narrative and provides a bit of hope to the tiny world on its descent to the ground. Consider a timeless piece of music — Beethoven’s 5th comes immediately to mind, not a symphony I particularly love but one that is incredibly meaningful to our world. Society seldom questions its cosmic significance because its value to mankind is indisputable. Therefore, Beethoven’s 5th has unquestionable value, and this will remain true for the entire existence of humanity.

So I ask those of you who interpreted the raindrop analogy as grim, does the fate of the raindrop matter if our tiny world carries its own significance throughout the descent? We derive meaning not from where we are going, but through the value in our lives at every moment getting there. Just as no one doubts the significance of Beethoven’s 5th to humankind, no one doubts their own significance in life when they are actually out there living.

I unearthed a quote from my novel, Diamondis, recently that captures my opinion on this perfectly:

“The realization of our meaningless can be told in a word, a sentence at the most. Our story rarely revolves around the realization itself. However, the descent to this realization is lush with poetry. The beauty is the descent.”

This quote comes from a discussion between the main characters, Tomas and Julia, trying to debunk the perceived meaninglessness of life by nihilistic philosophers. So there — my views on our insignificance are in fact very optimistic. I like to live lightly and make decisions based on the immediate happiness of myself and my loved ones. And, just a bit of off-topic advice to go along with this, it is always important to find the balance between the aforementioned “immediate happiness” and what will provide you with lasting happiness. When making big decisions in life, ask yourself, will this bring me happiness now? Then, will this bring me happiness for days to come? People often neglect one of the two questions — if you can’t answer yes to both, you might want to dig harder for the opportunity.

This Moment

There are times in our lives when it is necessary to take a moment to breathe slowly, to reflect on where we are and where we are headed. Ironically, these are the times when patience is most difficult. When we so deeply want to move forward, it is easy to miss the value in stasis.

What are your goals in life? Do you wish for permanence or for tranquility in the moment? Are you in search of laughter or something deeper? Are you just trying to get by? Will you be content looking back at your life, knowing you only tried for moderate satisfaction?

These are the questions that arise during slow breaths, when the world spins around you. It is necessary to be okay with these moments because, just like the risks we take and the long hours of working hard to achieve your goals, these moments help to illustrate the reach of your dreams.


“This Moment” was a quick thought that came to me as I was listening over to the mastered version of my new song, “Bridge to Permanence.” If you are visiting my blog on a computer browser, it is likely that you are listening to Bridge to Permanence playing in the background. If not, you can catch it on YouTube or Soundcloud.

Love is Found

“What gives us hope in life is the sense that love is not found in predictable symmetry or straight edges. The closest we can get to perfection are the moments we can’t put into words, but can still feel when nothing is left.”

Excerpt From: James Wadman. “Diamondis.” James Wadman, 2017. iBooks. https://itun.es/us/durdhb.l

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Image from Instagram: instagram.com/jhwadman

Don’t forget that all of my images are available for use in my public google drive folder: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/0B4iYHMtTlNGrdEpjbzVQSFNOYWM

 

Writer’s Voyage: Diamondis, Start to Finish

By James Wadman

 

My first novel, Diamondis, began from the seed idea of describing something beautiful and evolved into a story about death, neuroscience, and love. It was my first book and my first experience with the full writing process of a novel. In light of such an important milestone, I thought I would share the story of how Diamondis came to be.

 

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Purchase on Amazon Kindle: https://goo.gl/djJhlA

Explore: https://goo.gl/RPB79B

The Start

 

Diamondis began with no real goal in mind, except that I was fascinated with the idea that I could preserve an entire life with words. I have written about the seed ideas for the story before, but I will say here that dreams played a very important role in my early inspiration for the novel. I knew that I wanted to describe what happened when a person dies and how understanding that process can help a person cope with death.

 

My working title in the beginning was “Old Man Story,” and the main character was once a teacher or a carpenter, at any age from sixteen to eight-seven. But what I did that I think was so important was, instead of looking at the clouds to try to find the better starting point, I tried out each character description and watched the story evolve.

 

My early writing style was one that followed a sort of biological method (lagging strand DNA replication, to be exact). Basically, the idea here is that I would power through the get the template idea down, then I would retrace my steps and fill in anything that I missed. When I had a great idea for dialogue or a description or a plot turn, I wanted to reach that part of a chapter with confidence and in a flow state. Therefore, I skipped over any small descriptions leading up to that big idea and returned later, once the high of writing something I was proud of dissipated.

 

In a way, I credit the flow and structure of Diamondis to this early writing style. The story definitely has a “get to the point” flow to it, where the reader is taken more to highlights with extensive details being left open-ended, than the reader is being told every tiny detail of every insignificant moment. This resonates with some people and, understandably, angers a few. But in my mind, Diamondis was actually designed to be read quickly and the descriptions are meant to be more cinematic than literary.

 

The Structure

 

When I say that Diamondis took me five years to write, I do not intend to make it seem that I spent 1,825 days writing to less than 40,000 words. The making of Diamondis required writing “Old Man Story,” “Story of Death,” “A Dream of Death’s Affection,” and all the many other variations of the story that led to the final product. Not to mention, as the story evolved, I did, too. In those five years, I did plenty of research to make sure that my story fit into science as best as possible, I got my degree (everyone should get their STEM field degree!!!), I took breaks away from writing to get a clear picture of where the novel was headed, and so on. This was my first novel, and I wanted it to be perfect to my vision of what it could be.

 

When real-life obstacles stand in your way, there are a few words of advice I can give. Just because you can’t sit down at a computer and type for hours on end, doesn’t mean you can’t be progressing with your story. I would go several weeks without opening up my novel build document, but the notes on my phone would grow and grow. To be honest, this is when my best writing took place. I wasn’t trying to force anything. I was just taking note of ideas whenever the real world inspired me in some way. Then, when time permitted, I would sit down at a coffee shop with either a laptop or a journal and let loose all these ideas.

 

However, there is one requirement for this strategy: you must make time to read! In fact, I think it is always important to read whenever you are writing. It doesn’t even have to be a good book, because when you read, you are surrounding yourself with the language of different voices, and for me, I can get supremely bored when reading late at night, so my mind wanders off and I get quality thinking time for my own story. What’s the message here: any writer must be willing to read. Lots.

 

If a part of your story doesn’t thrill you, don’t try to force-fix it. Let it be for a little while, maybe meditate on it while you are not looking right at the pages. In the end, you will find the fix in the world around you, not in the pixels of a computer screen. Better yet, you might realize that you were having a bad day and it wasn’t such a mediocre passage to begin with.

 

No one ever said it was easy, so be patient when the ideas aren’t flowing. Again, and I can’t emphasize this enough, the ideas for your novel come from experience in the world. Forcing ideas never works.

 

The End

 

Do I look for an agent? Should I self-publish? How many people are going to buy my book? Is it really done? It is fair to say that reaching the end of your novel comes with far more questions than you might expect. Take a big sigh of relief when you finish, trust me. You don’t want to jump right into the next stage of promotion and publishing without it.

 

In the end, I decided to self-publish Diamondis to maintain creative control of my story, to learn about the publishing/ promotion process, and to make sure that all my ideas for multi-media integration and collaboration could be fulfilled. Did I make the correct decision? Only time will tell, but for now (1 week after online publication), I am very pleased with my decision and the feedback so far.

 

I want to conclude this post with some final advice to anyone out there who might be trying to get started or make it through an important threshold in their voyage. Be genuine. The world needs more people who are not afraid to stay true to their own voice, their own story, and the pursuit of sharing their own experiences. I can’t promise that this advice will guide you toward fame or fortune, but it will guide you closer perhaps to a meaningful existence.

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As long as the universe exists, there is something to be created and something to be explored. James Wadman
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