Chasing Inspiration

Saturday, March 03, 2007

So, What Are You Writing Now?

 The more people who know I write, the more I find myself fending off this question. I don't often talk about the particulars of my stories. I find I'm almost afraid to talk about these fledgling works in process because in the talking I may lose the magic.

The second book I ever wrote was a wonderful story. It had danger, love, dirty little secrets, passion, location...well everything. But the more I talked about it, the less I wanted to write it. And so the story sits, a rough draft, a great idea, but not finished. Oh, the tenets of the story are there and it wouldn't take too much work to fill it out and get it out the door.

But I lost interest.

This is why I don't talk much about my stories while I'm writing the first draft. Not even my good writing friends hear much beyond the basics. I have a casual critique partner who reads the rough draft and then tells me how wonderful it is (it being the bones of the story, because trust me, there will be a ton of work after this draft is done). Ah, the joy of an "unbiased" fan. *grin* Still, I don't talk to her about the story. She doesn't know anything more than the pages I give her. She keeps notes and at the end, or when I'm stuck, she'll pull them out and go over things with me. It's a great system.

So what do I do when someone asks me what I'm writing now? I smile kindly and tell them I'm working on a story of love and redemption and hope. Which pretty much covers any plot I may actually write. When pressed, I may give some details like:
  • It's a story set in Minnesota
  • The hero and heroine are on paths of discovery - he with his faith, she with her past
  • It's a little bit other, a little bit dark and a little bit romantic
  • There will be a happy ending
Not much, but enough to satisfy the question. I hope.

I'm on this journey with my characters. I don't know any further into their story than what I put on the page. Oh, I may have ideas of scenes in the future. And I may have a hunch as to where the story is heading. But for me, the joy of writing is in the journey. I map out things, I figure out who my characters are and where they are coming from and where they are going t land. But if I talk about my story too much, those happy discoveries are discovered too early and when I sit to write that sense of adventure is gone. I lose my steam and my drive.

So, if you're one of those people who have have ever asked my what I'm writing now, sorry if it seemed like I brushed you off. I didn't mean it that way. I was simply trying to save the journey so Mallory and Jason can have the story the deserve from me. If things go in the right direction, perhaps you will be able read this story for yourself someday. Keep your fingers crossed!

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