I’ve been asked how I come up with my ideas.  It is hard to answer that because in most cases they just come to me.  When I’m working on a story, it just tells itself. 

I reach moments in each story where I have to consciously make a decision about where the story is going.  Sometimes I think through all the possibilities but mostly I just follow where I think the story should go. 

In the fantasy novel I’m working on, I thought I was done with the first novel but there was one area which was bugging me.  I was considering either rewriting an entire chapter or adding in another chapter.  The problem – keeping the cohesion of the story and adding to it by the addition. 

I’m reading the Wrede’s book on writing.  In there she talks about world building and the functions of scenes.  I’m trying to adhere to how she talks about the functions of scenes because to me she makes sense. 

In the fantasy novel, I’ve created a world where the genders have equality.  However, there is a scene where an older woman is talking to younger girls about “womanly things.”  If this is a world of equality then I felt there should be a section where the younger boys in the story get the same type of talk. 

The problem – I didn’t want the reader to be bored with a repetition of the same conversation.  I wanted there to be equality between the genders. 

For a couple of days I struggled with the issue.  As I’m falling asleep the other night, I come up with an origin myth for the novel.  Last night I’m thinking about going to sleep and can’t.  I pick up my netbook to start writing at about 10:00.  I worked on a new chapter for the book.  I just started writing and it flowed so easily. 

My phone rang and scared the crap out of me.  Vicki called.  I hadn’t realized it was 11:30 but I was nearly done with the chapter.  She told me she was just calling to tell me goodnight and make sure I didn’t stay up too late writing.  This is a running joke with us. 

Before midnight, I finished the chapter.  I will edit it a couple of times.  I think it adds depth to the story without it feeling like it I’m doing an info dump.  It brings in the origin of the land, it creates the equality I wanted with the genders, and it teaches the lessons that are needed – I hope. 

Where did the inspiration come from?  No idea.  I just know it came to me, whether from sleeping on it or from talking about it with my daughter and others or from somewhere else.  The inspiration hit to help me overcome a problem in the novel. 

Secret Past

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