Sunday, December 16, 2012

When Writing feels Right

I realized I’ve been quiet regarding the status of book #2 in the Jorja Matthews Mystery Series.  I will say I’m having a lot of fun writing the second book and while I have tentatively named it, I don’t want to give the name away yet in case I decide to change it.  There’s just something about sharing too soon that makes me feel a bit superstitious. 
I will tell you though, that while the first book is about mothers, the second book is about fathers.  No Mother of Mine was about what mothers could be capable of doing or what mothers might be perceived as having done and the second book in the series is along those lines with regard to fathers.  Those who have read the first book know there is at least one question with regard to a particular father.  It is in the second book when many answers will come to light while other mysteries involving fathers must also be solved.

What I am able to share with you might be limited, but I can share with you my excitement. 

I’m excited to write about the same characters I have grown to love and I enjoy bringing in new characters with their own histories and secrets.  So far in this book we have an alleged crime of murder, spousal abuse and kidnapping.  We also have old hurts and past tragedies that make it difficult for some to move on.  When one of the characters is attacked, it raises questions regarding who might be involved and it sheds light on a few secrets some wish would remain hidden. 

As with the first book, the characters in this book often keep me guessing and I won’t say I know exactly how the book will end.  The characters speak for themselves and it’s my job to tell their stories, not tell them how I think things should go.  If it feels right as I write, I know I’m going in the right direction.  If it doesn’t, I look at other possible angles and try again.  When the writing is effortless, like it was with the first book and is seemingly the case again this time around, you move ahead with excitement and wonder at what the story holds for you…even if you are the one writing it.

Whether you are a writer or you just read about writers, you might not understand my writing process but it is what works for me.  Some use strict outlines, others don’t.  At this point, I still don’t use an outline and while I have numerous notes about what I expect might happen in the story and what I expect each character to take part in, there are times when I discover otherwise as I write.  My notes are only guidelines to help me with my writing but they certainly do not generate a specific path I must stay on regardless of what my characters want.  I thoroughly enjoy letting the characters come to life and speak for themselves.  When a story is forced, I believe a reader can tell.  But when the story takes on a life of its own and becomes a joy to write, that too is felt by the reader as they immerse themselves in the story. 

It is the joy I’ve found in writing that makes me wish I had started much sooner than I did but looking at the would-haves and could-haves is not in the cards.  Back then, my writing may have felt forced and might never have actually felt right to me.  It is because of my experiences and the life I have lived that I am now able to write like I do.  Instead of wondering where I’d be now if I had started ten or twenty years ago, I’ll stick with the knowledge that I finally took the chance to do what I love to do and that there are still many more years of writing ahead of me. 


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