Wednesday, October 22, 2008
You Have to See it to Believe It
You have to see your story in your mind's eye before you believe it...or believe in it. Writers for the most part of right brain thinkers. You have a vivid imagination. Were you the child that sat in the classroom, chin in hand, staring out the window, the voice of the teacher drowned out because you were somewhere else? That was me. My parents got plenty of complaints.
One way to overcome writers block is to take some time off from your computer, go to a quiet place, and think about your story. Picture your hero and heroine in your mind, and run them through the scene you most recently wrote. Then move them forward. This is a form of 'ruminating', and it brings them alive to you.
For over a week, my hero has been stuck in a scene. Before all this he was in many ways secondary to my heroine. But because of her rejection of him, in what he believes is the second time, and he deeply in love with her, as well as angry, I had to bring him forward. He is in pain, and in the midst of it he is slammed with another unexpected problem.
I rapid wrote in my binder the scene. I've gone back to it four times. Something was missing. I sat down and imagined him going through the scene and in popped a minor character who will do the antagonist's bidding. I could see him in my mind's eye. A short, pale man, dressed in a black overcoat, waistcoat, and breeches, his sparse hair combed smooth over his head to hide a receding hairline. He is pompous, and has a perpetual smile boarding on a sneer as he unfolds to Ethan why he has come to Faircross. I found it extremely interesting that he is replacing Ethan's stepmother in this scene. She is out. She has also had a stroke, and is unable to defend herself against the trouble that has arrived on her doorstep. Her advocate is Ethan, who will also be his beloved's advocate as she is pulled into this.
Don't hurry through a scene. Think about it. Imagine it. Run it over in your mind as if you are watching a movie. Write down what you see until you finally get it all --- all the ambiance and all the characters that must be there.
(On the sidebar, you will see something new. Must Reads - these are historicals written by some of the finest writers today who are publishing in the CBA marketplace. Books to Anticipate - Future Releases - these are novels to look out for, that are currently in production, and have tremendous potential for best-sellers. You can visit the authors' websites by clicking on their names.)
Posted by Rita Gerlach at 9:03 AM