The role of narrative and argument

May 30, 2015

MartinMy big writing projects can take decades. I’m not slow, but redraft a great deal. Of late, I’ve felt a desire to clean the slate. Two novels are ready to go, and a narrative poem. I’ve one more novel, this one for young adults, to round off.

My big task at the moment is a book on public interest environmental law in Europe, for a mainstream audience. That latter aspect provides me with a major writing challenge. I’ve long contended that narrative equals argument, though now have to accept that’s not so. They reinforce each other, but don’t replace each other. Of old, I’ve been stronger in narrative than argument. I have to turn that around.

I picked up another project recently, one barely nascent, a memoir. It’s interesting how such this new habit of providing a line of argument had bitten home. I find I’ve no interest in simply delivering a narrative version of my life – an reasoned argument feels much more interesting. It would be an examination of suppressed memory, based on personal experience but reinforced by wide research.

More immediately, it’s back to the task of writing about the fight for better air quality in Europe.

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