There are just some days when the writing sucks. You try and try and try (!!!!Z*^&#$@) to get motivated with your story and it keeps falling flat. So, what do you do? You put on your best Jimmy Buffet flowered shirt, your crazy bedroom slippers, and start humming Banana Republic in your head (No, not the clothing store, guys, come on!). Then, you put on a sweater or jacket. (It’s still winter, after all!) Then…. go back to your journal, of course! At least you can write something fun and not fill yourself with self-loathing. (Thanks, Anne Lamott for that image!) Today, I was stuck on a pivotal point in the main character’s dilemma; how she would express an important message to the people she cared about, to get them motivated to do something. How do you explain something that is in a character’s mind – her mindwork? (Check out my book if you don’t know what that is, by the way.) How do you get that perfect Stephen King moment where the reader just knows what’s going on inside the character’s head? It’s not an easy task. I usually skip over those parts of the book, only to come back and agonize over them a week later. Then, I change it up a bit and describe something she sees, in detail.
Recently, I have been reading Neil Peart’s books about his travels on his motorcycle while he is on tour with Rush. His attention to detail is fantastic. His literary references inspire me, just like his music. I love reading journal-type books. They are so personal and fulfilling. You feel like you get to know someone really well, someone you’ve cared about for a very long time.
So, here goes. Here is my on-line try at describing something that is in my main character’s (and thus) my head:
Snow falling brings a quiet hush to the world. For a moment your life is suspended, and you watch the world become white in front of your eyes, making it clean for a little while. You watch it pile up around you, enveloping the house, enveloping you. It smells different – fresh and invigorating. And, depending on the time of day, it isn’t just the color white. It’s a bright blue in the daylight, turning purple and pink in the twilight. Snow is an amazing thing. It can get into your head and make you feel cold, and alone. But, it can also inspire you to write, because you don’t want to go out and walk around in it, thus spoiling the pristine state of a covered path. When you do go out and walk in it, you are once again humbled. You are a small being in this vast universe, and your footsteps are just one of many that will take this path.
The path may be only a small group at first, but eventually everyone can choose to take it. Now I can describe what she wants! Voila!
So, I may get overwhelmed at times, but I know there are others like me with the mantra, Infinite Possibility; those that are seeking this same knowledge, aspiring to become that best-selling author (or just a selling author). So, keep the faith and enjoy the good moments!