I’m not talking about I love you or even the sweetest words in the world: your table is ready. No, the sweetest words in the world for any writer or aspiring writer are the words that start your story.
Ever since nanowrimo in November, I’ve been having problems connecting to anything I’ve written. 3,000 words and then I fizzle out. The story isn’t right, the characters aren’t making sense to me, the writing is tepid.
A few days ago I had an idea for a story that was crazy original but not … not something I was ready to invest in. Last night my daughter and I were discussing it and she gave me a huge piece of plot that made perfect sense. (Whenever stuck, consult an 8 year old. To them the world is all plot and action.)
But this morning the first line of the story came to me. I won’t say that four simple words made the story leap to life and now my writing block is over but those four words changed a lot. The right four words and suddenly I heard the voice of the character. In four words I felt like maybe I could write this story.
Carolyn, tell me what works for you.
God - you had to ask that, didn't you!
As you know I've had very good luck with baths. Nice hot water, scented whatevers, lounging back and closing my eyes and letting my mind (what's left of it) drift. Showers just aren't the same somehow, don't know why that is ...
But baths are mostly for cogitating an already thought of idea. And already thought of ideas are few and far between.
Lori is my idea lady. But the truth, and no offence to Lori, is that to write the idea, it really has to grab me. If I were male, I'd say by the cojones, but I'm not, so I'm not quite sure where it grabs me.
Usually a combination of books I've read, articles I've seen on the internet, bits and pieces of my own past, will sometimes spark an idea that grabs me so tightly I can do nothing but write it. Los Defensores was like that and Quatrain and now Resurrection.
It doesn't matter if no one else thinks it's the best thing since sliced bread. If it resonates with me then it's when I write my best.**
Sometimes I build a story around a title I refuse to give up - Quatrain was like that. Mariposa, Annie and Reflections was the first line, just like you said.
I've heard it said that a lot of writers have a set routine, that it's necessary to be successful. I don't know about that; I do know the Muse attacks me in different ways each time and when it grabs and squeezes hard, the words pour out of me.
Next step is making it last a whole book, lol.
**Best doesn't mean successful. I've never been published and probably never will. I hate to call writing a hobby, that seems direspectful somehow, but I do not have a set goal. I just have the love for it.