Sunday, July 12, 2009

There's a Story Hiding in My Brain

For the past few weeks I've found it hard to concentrate on the novels I'm working on. One is a mystery, "Painted Black", and the other is women's fiction, "Reflections From The Hot Zone." Both books have been fun to write and are now in the rewrite/editing stage. Aha, some would say, you just don't want to do the real work.

While this is true, that isn't the reason I can't concentrate. In side my head there is story growing. It feels like a deep, dark, serious book in the making. Bits and pieces flit by on the screen behind my eyes. I see a frown, hear an argument, smell the grainy scent of alcohol. A character lurks in the shadows, unwilling to show his/herself. Waiting, I feel, until I promise to let the telling be the character's doing.

Does this ever happen to you? It scares me a bit. I'm not sure I'm ready to hear the truth hiding within the fiction. No one told me this would happen when I talked of being a writer.

Ah, I see the character's smile.


Linda said...

Does this ever happen to you?

Oh yeah... funny you're at this spot, same spot I've been in the past couple of weeks. Finally getting the story out (of course you'll see it soon).

Percolation, marination, rumination, inspiration... when it happens it's a beautiful thing, the greatest gift of being a writer. Enjoy it, and run with whatever images come to you.

I'm happy to see you 'stretch'. Peace, Linda

DeborahB said...

You too, Linda. Look forward to seeing your new work.

J.C. Towler said...

Mine sort of come as a global idea for a story, not so much in the guise of characters. I'll have an inspiration, think "man, I've got to write that" scribble a few notes or an intro if it comes to mind, then wring my hands when I don't have time to get to it.

Rare times I do have a character it usually starts with a name that I can't get out of my head. "Uewa Chu" is one. She's going to be in some future sci-fi piece, I know. Hope she's patient, because there's going to be a bit of a wait.


Kim said...


I didn't know you picked up the blog again. I'll have to check in more often now!

Yes. This happens to me. Usually I get the opening line and/or title first. I hear a few sentences of dialogue and then the story unfolds little by little by little.

It's a magical thing to hear voices and not be cuckoo!


DeborahB said...

Uewa sounds interesting, John. can't wait to see what someone with a name like that is like!

DeborahB said...

Kim, are you sure we aren't cuckoo? :)

J. M. Strother said...

Yes, it happens to me. I really like that mulling stage of things, trying to tease out a story I know is in there trying to get out. This is when long walks and bike rides help me out a lot. It makes the walks and bike rides more enjoyable too. :)

Mo said...

Welcome to the club. I get it all at once, I know the story, the ending and beginning and have to wade through the middle. I usually, stop everything and write down the overview. Sometimes I have to write one or two chapters before I can relax.