Thursday, April 25, 2013

Writing 'After the Rain' with heart palpatations.

This has been the coldest April I can remember. But it is keeping me inside at my desk. I put on a sweater on this morning, and worked on 'After the Rain' all day, except for a lunch break. I listened to the Pride & Prejudice soundtrack and others while writing. Music stirs my imagination more than silence, and the dialogue flowed out of me.

 I am loving writing this novel. I just finished a scene that got my heart pounding. I could see the look on Louisa's face when her grandmother told her she was leaving, and the anxiety Jackson felt when his father told him he had tickets for the train going west toward the Blue Ridge Mountains.

From Louisa's scene

Without making a sound, she left and went to her room. She changed her clothes, and when the cab arrived she went downstairs with Millie trailing behind her. She had no way of knowing what calamity would face her the next time she came back through it.

Jackson's scene:
           Jackson hurried to the peg on the wall and grabbed his hat.
            “Where are you going?” his father asked.

            “There is something I’ve been wanting to say to Miss Borden, Pa. This might be my only chance for a long time.”

            He pushed on his hat, drew his coat on, and stepped back out into the cold.

What I know is ahead is my heroine is about to hear some devastating news that will have a ripple effect and cause her comfortable world to come tumbling down. My hero will be faced with a challenge he never expected.

When writing a novel, you have to see every scene in your mind's eye as if a movie were running through it. You have to be able to feel what your characters are feeling, touch what they touch, taste what they taste, hear and see what they hear and see. Otherwise they will fall flat.

When you write, do you feel? Does your heart swell inside you? Do you cry when it is a sad scene, smile when there is joy in your characters lives? Writer, you are an actor. Did you know that? You are acting on paper. You are everyone of your characters, because if you are a good writer, even a great one, you will be 'in character'. You will be your heroine and your hero. You will see their world through their eyes. 

Robert Frost wrote: 

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” 

If you are not a writer, but you find a novel that accomplishes this for you, puts you right smack dab in the book, send a note to the author and tell them. You'd be surprised how much a note from a reader encourages a writer to keep writing.

 I recommend the book 'Getting Into Character' by author Brandilyn Collins.


Olivia Stocum said...

I so agree with you, Rita. I had to write a scene where my heroine was facing her worst nightmare. It was so hard to write. I was literally sitting on the floor with my laptop crying and shaking right with her. Keep writing with feeling, Rita!Looks like it's going to be an awesome book.

Rita Gerlach said...

What you wrote makes me want to read your book. Share this on your blog and website. It will draw readers to your work.

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