Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Writer Wednesday--Getting Lost in Your Story

Getting lost isn't usually something I try to do.  Although, I seem to be good at it when I forget to look up the map to a new location, relying solely on my immaculate sense of direction and the luck I'm sure follows me wherever I go.  When you're writing, however, getting lost is a good idea.

I recently finished another book and have to admit that even though time constraints stressed me more than I like, I did get lost.  The book is a retelling of the Snow White fairy tale and the idea came from a vivid dream I had.  I began it shortly after I finished the first draft of Cinder and Ella.  I wrote a chapter or two and took it to writing group where it got sliced to shreds.  My writing friends described one of the main characters as "creepy," and the main main character failed to interest them.  I rewrote those chapters, tweaking the plot here and there over time until I finally gave up, deciding the time wasn't right and I'd pick it up again later.

Then I got thrown into a marathon opportunity to finish it and couldn't believe how fast the ideas came, how swiftly my fingers moved across the keys, how crazy I get when I'm sleep deprived and friend deprived and self deprived.  After reading the new version, my awesome beta reader--keep in mind she'd read the other drafts and I'm sure used the words "creepy" and "uninteresting"--said she could tell I was "into" the story, getting lost inside, making friends with my characters, walking through the orchard, wearing a shawl because I needed to in Kat's world.  And how was it?  Magnificent.

If you're a writer, you've felt what I'm talking about before--the thrill of creating a new world, the joy of traveling to a place you love that's ordinarily kept within the walls of your imagination, the smiles that creep up on you as you're getting acquainted with these new imaginary people.  And you're happy, free, and at peace.  Because that's what writers were born to do:  get lost in their words, their writing, their worlds.

When is the last time you were beautifully lost?


Rebecca H. Jamison said...

I know what you mean! I'm getting there with my current WIP. I'm only about halfway through, but the characters are starting to seem real.

-Jo- said...

Will someone please toss me in a room so I can get lost in writing?