Chasing Inspiration

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Living By A Thread

Ever feel like you're hanging by a thread and that at any moment the thread is going to break and you're going to come crashing down? I feel that way with my current story. And to be honest, I'm getting quite the rush out of it!

This story started with a tiny kernal of an idea. A what if. I love "What If's" because they get me thinking about my world a little differently. There's nothing like looking at the world just a little differently. But I digress.

So, the story started with this little idea. What if there was a woman who left her home town because of a tragedy, hoping to never return but is forced to come back? What if when she gets back, her world is turned upside down because what she thought to be true wasn't?

Well, that's how the idea started. It's not how it's going. Well, the heroine left town after tragedy and is now forced to come back, but it's not for the reasons I dreamt up.

This is why I love writing! It takes me through all these twists and turns and I never end up somewhere I've been before. Oh, it's frustrating too because I don't control the story even though I like to think I do. Somewhere in my fertile imagination the story is growing and unfolding but it only comes to my conciousness little pieces at a time. It's like hanging by this thread, swinging around and seeing if the direction I'm going is strong enough for the thread to hold my weight. Sometimes the thread unravels or snaps and I fall back to the previous thread. That hurts.

But other times, the thread holds strong and I climb up it, learning more and more about the characters who demand my attention and their worlds. It's fascinating. But I also know that any time, the entire story could come crashing down around me and I'll be forced to start back at square one. That's my fear. And probably where I'm getting the rush right now. Because as of today, I've only had one itsy bitsy thread snap. Everything else has been golden! Well, for now. No sense jinxing the thing, right?

Monday, January 01, 2007

The Story Strikes Back

The husband and I were attending the wedding of a friend of ours on Saturday. It was a lovely affair - candles, fresh-cut evergreens as garlands, beautiful music and heartfelt vows. We were honored to be witnesses to this monumental step in the lives of our friends.

About a third of the way through the hour long service, I started hearing voices in my head. My characters were not going to give me a break! I had been giving them all sorts of attention over the Christmas week, reaching an all time high of 30 pages in one week. I thought I was doing fairly well and deserved a break from the book. The characters had other ideas.

They were so insistent, so compelling, that I had to pull a notebook out of my purse and in the middle of the special music and scripture reading, start writing the beginnings of a new scene. My husband looked over at me and frowned, a little put out that I was paying attention to "them" again. Poor guy. He didn't make a fuss, especially when I put the notebook down to hear the actual exchange of vows and rings.

It was a little off putting to have the book be so much on my mind while I was at this wedding. I really did try to stuff the information back, tried to convince my characters that they were going to have my full attention later that evening, if they would just let me have these few hours with my friends. I guess I had ignored them a bit too much over the last few months, only giving them my time when I had exhausted all other distractions in my life. So they keep nattering at me until I gave in, thus reassuring them that I am invested in telling their story.

Since Saturday, they have been a little calmer, waiting until I'm at the computer before they start sharing with me the next piece of their journeys. I'm happy they are being a bit more gentle with me. But I expect they will demand my attention at some inopportune time in the not so distant future. The voices in my head are funny that way.