Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Logic of Writing

I love when a story is working. When one scene leads naturally to the next. Folks always consider writers "creative types." As if we're all airy and light, tossing back bonbons with one hand, dreaming up stories in a pink, frothy cloud of distraction.

I don't see it that way at all. In fact, I mentioned in a post not long ago that I'm IT for my family. I have a facility for technology and I think it's the same kind of thing that works for me with writing. Logic. Being able to decipher a problem because of what should come next.

I couldn't care less about muses. My goodness, if I waited for one to show up, I'd never have finished the first book. (Two small children, little league, guitar lessons, violin lessons, school choir practice, a husband constantly on travel--and oh, yeah, a full-time day job.) So, muses--I don't think so--not unless he or she had shown up with a driver's license and the undying devotion to my children that schedule required! (Have you ever noticed how few people are as willing to slave for your children as you?)

However, I believe in story logic, in the logic of the English language, in using both to write a story that appeals to me, because I am kind of my first reader, and those pages where I'm going "let's get to the good stuff" need to suffer the plunge of the delete key.

The book I'm tidying now has been one of the most difficult I've ever written. Do all writers get one that writes itself? Cause, hello, I'm tapping my foot with impatience for my shot at that! This one has been start and stop, running gleefully into a brick wall, realizing my hero and heroine had no real problems so I dared not let them be in the same room or they'd declare themselves in love. And why couldn't they? Why, because I was writing a romance. (Kiss of death for romance writer who wants to offer an involving story.)

So, my friends, Jennifer LaBrecque (Harlequin Blaze and NASCAR) and Susan Floyd (SuperRomance) helped me to an answer and suddenly those pages and scenes began falling in place. Scenes I'd already written had purpose (hiding, just out of my view until the conflict was right). Usually, when I'm this pushed and--let's be frank--late--I start to hate writing, but not this time. I'm loving the logic of a story with all its pieces intact!

I wish I knew it was perfect. I wish I had faith that it will grab a reader with the emotions I'm feeling as I write it, but I never feel that kind of confidence, and I'm just grateful for a lovely editor who's willing to point me in the right revision direction. But work is going well. I'm gleeful, and I'm not too afraid of that wall sliding out of nowhere again.

If you're working today, I hope you're enjoying, too.

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