Monday, February 8, 2010

Because it was there...

This morning I wrote the first several pages of a book I probably won't even consider writing until April. Why would I do such a thing when I have deadlines and taxes and lots of online work to do like write an ezine and post blogs...and teach online classes and write online classes...sheesh, I forgot how much I actually do!...LOL

Anyway, I took precious time to do that because "It was there." The whole scene in living color, complete with heart-stopping emotion.

That's the thing about writing that lots of people don't get and few writers can really explain. Yes, on a good day I can write as many as forty pages. But everything has to be aligned. The story has to be popping. The characters have to be alive and vibrant. I have to understand what they are feeling and why. I have to know that the steps I having them take on the page really do fit the story...and also really will interest readers.

So most days I don't get forty pages. Most days I don't get twenty pages. Realistically on good days I get ten. Bad days I get two! LOL

When I hear someone give an exact timeline for writing a book, I admire them. I can't say exactly how long it will take me to write a book. I can come close, but not exact. Not even in terms of weeks because I don't know how quickly I'll get a good grasp of the characters and situations. I certainly don't rely on a muse, but I do rely (heavily) on the juxtaposition of character and story. That sweet moment when you know that what your characters want to do on the page is exactly what should be happening!

How do I get to that point? Sometimes it's by writing a thing or two that doesn't work! LOL Some days I get twenty pages but ten of them won't show up in the book. What they do "show" is what does't work, or maybe some background I needed to know but which I will condense into a sentence or paragraph of transition...After she spent an hour in the tub thinking about things ...

Or...After breakfast...

Or ... She took her horse Rainbow on a tour of their new home, and by the time she returned to the Silver Saddle Ranch she was better able to deal with Brock.

Lots of things happened on those little "thinking it through" jaunts. I saw them. Then I cut and pasted them into a "maybe we'll use this later" document and reduced the episode to only what was relevant for the readers.

A lot goes into the books you know and love. Lots of thought, lots of effort, lots of experimenting and lots of time!

That's why it's so great to wake up (as I did today) not just with a full-blown scene in my head but also to a lovely email from a fan who loved my November Christmas story!

Thank you, Christine!


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