Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Writer's Muse

A writer's muse is a strange thing. Sometimes it's so elusive no amount of hunting and searching is ever going to find it. Sometimes it's like a waterfall, coming so quickly it's difficult to keep up with the deluge.

Since summer, my muse has been in hiding. I haven't been able to find it with a fine tooth comb. Then, last week, for whatever reason, the damn broke. I think I mentioned last week that I had outlined (roughly) ideas for two stories. (I never, ever outline...I am completely a pantster, so that in and of itself was a minor miracle.)

A week later, I have 5,000 words written for one of the stories. Now, I know what you're thinking, especially those of you doing NaNoWriMo this month...5,000 words in a week is nothing. Y'all probably write that in a day. But for me, this is really something. It feels so great to be putting words down on paper again.

If that weren't enough, midweek I got an e-mail from an editor at Wild Rose who was considering a submission. She said that while she enjoyed the story and my writing in general, she didn't think it was ready to be published, but would love to look at it again if I did some rewrites. At first I was devastated. I mean after all, I had put my heart and soul into it the first time. Now I had to change it? Fix it? How in the world was I going to do that?

But the more I let the idea sit, the more I realized what a wonderful opportunity this was. I was being given the chance to take a good story and make it better. Maybe even make it great. Now that's nothing to sneeze at. But where to start? She mentioned a lot of things she thought needed tightening and of them one of the driving forces (or so I thought) of the plot. Then last night, lightning struck. Out of the blue, it came to me. I knew how I was going to approach the story from a slightly different angle...keeping all of the parts I loved (my characters, the setting, the conflict...), but making it stronger. I sat down and scribbled five handwritten pages of notes.

So now I have a short story to finish, a full-length novel to revise and rewrite, and I still have another idea poking at me.

I'm telling you, when it rains it pours.

Until next time,

Happy Reading!

Available now: A Christmas to Remember


Morgan Mandel said...

Hi Debra,
I'm so happy you found your way out of the tunnel! It's so much fun when everything starts happening when you write.

Morgan Mandel

Debra St. John said...

It definitely eliminates some of the stress factor!

SBJones said...

NaNo is an exercise to get people to write every day even if they don't like it.

Keep at it!