Have you ever read a book that made you feel like you were living the story along with the characters? A book that made you think about your own life and how you would handle the challenges they faced?
I love most aspects of the writing process, including editing. The magical inspiration that strikes when you least expect it. Getting to know the characters. And even more, seeing how the story develops because no matter what, the path I have planned is always changed because the characters want to go in a different direction.
A writer’s life is cyclical in nature. We have the shiny new idea phase, followed by the first draft, followed by self-edits (multiple rounds), then it is sent away for someone else to look at and give feedback on, and then it’s back into the editing cave (these last two steps can happen multiple times), it goes to a proofreader, then (hopefully) one more go round and we have a product we can take pride in.
I’ll admit, when Tom pulled out a ring to give to Katie, I was taken aback. I think I may have been more floored by it than Katie. Tom is one of my quieter characters, and he had recently opened up to Katie, and then came to me and told me he wanted to give her a ring. At first I thought he meant his class ring, and while I think it is a little soon in their relationship, I could shrug off the class ring. But then he showed me the ring ….
When I ran across the photo of the rose, I knew immediately it summed up everything I needed for the piece named, Daddy’s Death. The bud, wilted and drooping, yet the stalk still straight and the leaves green. When we lose a loved one, it is how we feel; as if our essence has been sapped, we’re wilted, our life is crumpling around the edges, and yet, there is still life, and it flows around us. It was so perfect to me, I almost left the title and name off the cover—there was no need for anything else.
I’ll admit it … when reviewing the stories I was planning for Diary of a Misfit I realized I needed a few lighter stories to balance out some of the heavier topics included in the collection and the first thing that popped into my head was an entry about Rusty. *Sigh* Rusty is the sort of character writers fall in love with.
The mind of a writer is a strange thing. Or maybe I should qualify that and say the mind of some writers …. Because I can’t speak on behalf of all writers, but I know others who deal with some of the same things I do. My mind is kind of like a co-op with my characters. My stories are character driven, and in order to do that, I need to know how my characters would think, act, talk, feel in any given situation. They live in my head and speak to me to tell me the story line. I feel their emotions … sometimes over and over, in order to capture them on the page.