Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tiny Steps and Rightness

Last night after supper I opened up my novel and did a refresh-read-through to get myself back to where I was when I left off. While doing so, I did some editings and found a few misspelled words and confusing thoughts. Corrected those and also wrote a little more.

When I checked the word count I honestly don't think I wrote as much as it showed I had, so I suppose last Friday I must have written some because I had almost 850 more last night than I had last Thursday. I know I didn't write that much last night.

Anyway though- I was typing in the heroine's POV and she was thinking back to a past relationship and I realized there was a thread of good conflict hidden in her thoughts. Something I hadn't thought of before. I jotted it down in my notebook on a page of scattered ideas I'd like to work into the novel as I go along.

I love the fact that Juniper talks to me. Sometimes she yells her thoughts and ideas and bugs me to death before I go to sleep, but other times she whispers what it is that's needed and luckily I picked up on that subtle hint last night when she whispered it to me.

I've come to rely on her to tell me the things she wants me to write in her story. She has been the loudest, most talkative heroine I've written. But then, each time I slip into a setting or idea, the characters begin to come forward and talk to me.

When I was writing my second novel, my main character was the hero. He leaned over my shoulder a LOT while I was writing his story, telling me what was going on- things I hadn't seen coming and shocked me with things that moved the story forward in a (good) way I hadn't expected at all.

A strange sense of rightness comes over me at moments like that. It's that place where I think writing is the most satisfying for me as a writer, when the characters are telling the story more than I am. It's when I know they have come to life in my mind, they've matured from the idea of a person to someone who feels as real to me as a family member or friend.

1 comment:

Devon Matthews said...

Taryn, I love this post. Good for you for listening to the conflict! I'm always surprised when I hear authors --especially ones who are mega published and been at this for years-- say they have trouble with conflict. They don't want to make their characters suffer or be at odds with each other. Without some kind of sustained conflict, there is no story, so I'm always surprised when they say they're resistant to it.

I didn't get much accomplished yesterday. But today I'm into a big pivotal scene and hope to finish out another chapter before I quit for the day.

Happy writing!