Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Writing Process Part 1

Most readers want to understand how a writer develops a story and where their characters come from.

For me, the story comes in an aha moment. Something will trigger a feeling or circumstance that plants the seed. With my novel "Marquel," the idea hit me in a moment of sadness. I was very burned out over many things in my personal life and just tired of trying to fix things that were out of my control.

I remember very distinctly that my husband was in the living room watching t.v. and our daughter Marquel was in bed asleep in her room. She was 4. As I was crossing through the dark hallway next to Marquel's room, the character Marquel appeared in my thoughts. She just overwhelmed me with grief.

That was the aha moment.

I wasn't even thinking about writing. I just remember feeling this woman's pain. As I entered our dark bedroom, I didn't turn on the light. I just sat on the edge of the bed and turned to lie down. As my body was in motion to recline, I saw the story flashing through my head like rapid fire flipcards and by the time my shoulders and head hit the pillow I was overwhelmed with the movie I had watched in seconds.

I was so amazed that I sat up in a nervous excitement and grasped for some scrap of paper and a pen.  That is also common for me. I write on envelope, scraps, magazine covers, napkins, anything. And I started making notes in the dark. I wasn't about to waste a minute, I didn't want to forget something. I thought about telling my husband, but I knew he wouldn't understand. So I scribbled key words to remind me of different points I wanted to remember.

I felt I gave birth to the character Marquel that evening. She was in my head and wanted me to get her story on paper. This was the beginning of the fulfillment of a goal I made at age 15.  I said I would have a daughter Marquel and that I'd write book about a character Marquel.

While my daughter was in the next room sleeping, her namesake was pushing her way out into the world through my pen.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Great writing moments

A funny text I sent my daughter after a long night of writing. I was obviously half asleep when I wrote the text to Blair.