A Good Story

I haven’t written a lot in the way of stories in a while.  I was beginning to feel like I couldn’t anymore.  I’ve been editing, writing patterns and so on but actually sitting down to write scene after scene, I haven’t done in months.

Last night I got lost in the telling of my story.  I started out grumbling to myself about how tired I was and how I wasn’t sure where I was going, and a variety of other things.  I had this whole mental dialog at the end of which I essentially told myself to quit whining.  I spent several hours writing and by the time I was done, I had written eight small scenes, about 4000 words.

As I was writing the flow just seemed to come to me.  I couldn’t type fast enough, as I was finishing one scene the next would pop into my head.  I could almost see them play out in my head.

Being a responsible adult – which not as fun as kids think it is – I turned out the lights at 11:15 to go to bed so Monday wouldn’t be MONDAY.  Instead of sleeping, I lay in the dark wondering if I had written good scenes, if they were too short, too back and forth.  Among a million other things, the book kept going through my head.

After a bad night’s sleep and a long day at work, I’m back at my computer.  I reread the scenes and they are quick but I don’t think too quick.  I think I’ve got the right mood, tone, and rhythm I want in them.  One or two of them might need to be fleshed out more with a bit of description but for the most part these are conversations so you get to know the characters better.

Wayfarer Expansion is out after I had my freak out about ten books in a series and thinking it was time to wrap it up or maybe not or …. I said it was a freak out.  I got in my own way with writing.  Granted I was doing a lot of crocheting and writing of patterns but still I got in my own way with story telling.  It doesn’t matter if it is book 1 or 100 (wonder if I could make it that far with this series?) as long as I’m telling a good and complete story, that is all that matters.

Ultimately that is the goal – a good story.  I want it to be one which will make you laugh, cry, and hold your breath.  I want you to hate putting it down and hate waiting for the next one.  I want you to love the characters unless they are bad – then I want you to love hating them.  I know this is asking a lot of my readers but I’m asking it of myself first.

There are still parts of books when I go back to read them (yes my own) where I still cry, laugh and so on.  There are books I hate putting down from other authors – ones I will stay up all night reading even if I have to work the next day.  On my own, I’m not such a good judge on this criteria.  I think that’s what makes a good story.   I think this is what keeps readers coming back – a couple of hours of escape into another world which involves you so much you forget about whatever is going on in your own life and focus solely on the story.

I’m sorry officer I was rushing home to write

On my way home from work today, I had the next scene in my head for the novel I’m working on.  I could see it playing out, see the characters and how they were going to behave and respond to all that was happening in the scene.

I followed a car going 50 – 55.  Not uncommon on the road where the posted speed is 55.  I usually set my cruise at 60 and figure it’s all good.  Usually I’m patient and understanding of slower drivers.  Today though I wanted to scream at the driver ahead of me to get the F*&k moving.  I didn’t.  I was very relieved when he turned off.

I got onto Hwy 26 where it is 65 and sped up nicely.  I looked down at my speedometer and wondered if I explained I was rushing home so I could write a scene if a cop would let me off with a warning.  I figured the answer would be no but it did cross my mind.  Though I did wonder what he would say if I told him I was writing a scene were a 3 year old was kidnapped and I had to send his aunts and mother after the kidnapper to rescue him… probably would have delayed me further.

I slowed down from 80 (yup I was speeding) and when the speed limit slowed to 55 I set my cruise for 60.  I was doing okay until I was in town and this guy pulls out and goes 20 and is all over the road.  I’m nearly screaming at him but manage to not go all road rage on him by the time we reach the light.  Thank the stars, he turned left and I went straight.

I get home and I love my husband.  He was in a good mood and asked me for something.  I made myself not scream in frustration as the words were leaking out of my ears by now.  I help him with what he asked for and scurry (as much as I can with my legs bothering me) away to my office.

Finally, finally I get back to writing my scene.  My 3 year old gets rescued and even lands a painful blow to his kidnapper.  I’ve now written over 12,000 words tonight.  I have an outline of what is going to happen in this book.  I have thirteen or fourteen scenes to write.

I’m calling it a night not because I can’t think what to write next but because my eyes are burning and sleep is calling.

Oh and just in case you were wondering – I didn’t get stopped by the police and I didn’t get a ticket but my imagination wondered how the conversation would go…