THE EXCITING JOURNEY OF Writing
a Fictional Book
"IT'S A LUXURY BEING A WRITER,
BECAUSE ALL YOU EVER THINK ABOUT IS LIFE."
BECAUSE ALL YOU EVER THINK ABOUT IS LIFE."
JAMES PATTERSON STEPHEN KING
JK ROWLING GEORGE RR MARTIN
MICHAEL CONNELLY LEE CHILD
Every successful writer will tell you they did not know they would be successful when they began. They kept writing. They continued pushing forward in a love-hate relationship with their characters and with themselves.
They kept trying even when the rejection pile spilled across their desks. When others sleep they're busy writing because their characters demand they do so.
When writers begin a story they take a step through a doorway with nothing more than a map that may, but often not, shows where there is buried treasure. It shows where the monsters hide and how to beat them. The writer has no idea where their story is really going to take them, that's what makes writing an adventure.
When great writers die the world of medicine so dearly wants to know what went on in that brain of theirs. What kind of mind could create whole new civilizations that mesmerize young and old? What heart a writer must have where eloquent words flow which brings both tears and smiles to their audience.
Those who know me and have watched me for the last few years know I am either obsessed or possessed, I don't even know, but I can honestly say that I would not change it. I enjoy writing each story, those "aha" moments when I know where the road takes me. Nothing is more invigorating than when a character decides the next move, not the author.
I appreciate reading the words from sports figures and other writers. The common thread I have found is nothing comes easy. One has to constantly work at improving their skill level and never give up. Even if a hundred foot monster stands in your way, you must push forward.
To win you have to stay focused and stay committed to what you're doing, keep battling and keep battling until they say you're done and you won." Bubba Watson
My father knew exactly where to drive to. Not some sandy beach, oh no, this was more rugged. Millions of various size rocks, many worn down to mere pebbles by the ocean's waves, tide pools full of tiny crabs and starfish, and of course a coast full of seashells.
The first seashell I picked up was a winner. I need to go any further, I was a quarter richer. As I headed back to dad to show him my find saw another seashell that might be better than the first. I picked it up and studied it.
Yes, it was better and I tossed the first. It landed next to another shell and, uh oh, that one looked pretty good. I picked it up and it was a contender. Needless to say, this went on for over an hour and without thinking I had pockets full of seashells. We counted and I had thirty two. All of them unique.
When we laid them next to each other they were all beautiful in their own special way. "Well which one is the best?" he asked. I couldn't give him an answer. We decided to take all thirty two shells home. On the way back we stopped at a fish store and dad bought a fish tank. Not for fish, but for the shells.
We lined the tank with sand, added a few rocks, and strategically placed each shell in their new habitat.
By now you are asking what this has to do with writing. Nothing and everything. As writers we are constantly thinking of ideas for new stories. Some ideas take us further than others and few make it all the way to the end.
At last count I have saved 35 stories, each at various stages. You would think most are left to die, but I learned not to toss them away. They sit idle, hidden away and now and then I look at them. Scary stories, westerns, medieval, romance, adventure, crime, they're all there.
Will they all become novels, probably not, but I know sitting in that room is a sequel to The Mouse That Became the Cat, a story about two DEA agents that go rogue to avenge a friend's murder, a young female reality television producer out scouting locations and goes missing in an abandoned graveyard, a love story about a French couple who buy a restaurant and its clientele.
On and on. Every time I near the finish of one story I wonder what the next will be and it shows itself.
Next time I'll talk about where the ideas come from.