I’m one of those people who is tempted to think I am the only busy writer. In fact, anyone who is productive whether a writer or not is busy. The thing of it is, busy can be haphazardly going from one task to the next, or really accomplishing something in an orderly fashion. I like to think of myself as an orderly person but not one who overlooks the small distractions along the road. These distractions often suggest more material for writing. Then I find the world is wide open to me.
What does orderly really mean? It is something that has as many meanings as there are people. It is what we do with that orderliness that counts. A writer pounces on an idea that sometimes seems to come from nowhere. He or she takes that idea and, while going through the necessary responsibilities of daily life, begins to formulate an entire novel from it. It’s like a tiny seed that starts to grow. The more it is nourished, the more it grows. We can put the idea to the side and then a few days later we remember it. To our surprise, the idea has promises of tiny buds.
It’s at this time that I know I have something going for a great story. I sit at my computer and start to concentrate seriously on the concept I have chosen to use. Along the way, I see it will do better when I add facets and characters. After all, an idea will be dormant if there is nothing to feed it. Each day I get more and more wrapped up in where that initial thought will go. Now it is an adventure. The middle of the narrative can grow stale and boring. I can’t let that happen so I add a little suspense, a few red herrings and then the reader starts to get really excited.
Finally, the idea is a full-blown novel and I sit back and ask myself: Where did that come from, while finding myself very pleased with the outcome of my orderliness. I hope the reader feels the same way.
“Disappearance in Plain Country” “Betrayal of the River”
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