Back to Writing

I’d been stuck on writing the last couple of days. I managed a little, but wasn’t hitting my word goals, and what was really frustrating, I’d hit a wall. Literally, I had my heroine knocking on a door, her sidekicks behind her, and as an author… I had no idea what was behind that wall. This is the peril of pantsing. You will, on occasion, not be able to see any further ahead in the story than your own nose.

After beating my head on it for 36 hours, during which I went through recovery, errands, and a lot of social network distraction stuff, I finally figured it out. It took the catalyst of my First Reader playing evil muse to do it. As I told him while we were walking the dog and talking this all through, I could do it on my own, but it would take me a lot longer than being able to bounce ideas off him, and spark ideas coming back from him.

After my post the other day on MGC and here, about writing and having a trusted collaborator, I realize I’m very, very lucky to have him. Whether my characters think so, on the other hand!

So I now have, in my story, two teenagers tied up and lying on cold concrete in the back of an abandoned store. They’re in Kentucky, although they don’t know that, and the two men they interrupted with their knock on the door were up to no good. I haven’t decided quite what they were doing. We’d initially discussed marijuana growers, and I’d dismissed that idea because this is a Young Adult novel. But it occurred to me that making moonshine might not seem like a major transgression to the modern youth, and that when I look at news out of the area, meth labs are the big bad.

What say you? Our villains aren’t going to be a big part of the story, the teens have the ability to escape, and they are about to meet a little old lady who is anything but sweet and helpless. Right now I’m off to do some reading and research on Cherokee mythology, which may give you an idea of what is coming.

If you’re curious, I’m working on the sequel to this:


5 thoughts on “Back to Writing

  1. Even though moonshine is becoming more popular in the US (building on the craft beer model), I’d guess most of us still have never tasted or even seen a jar or distillery. For me, it’s connected with rough (possibly toothless), muddy, backwoods characters who live by their own rules, so: the old moonshiners. For a younger person, who knows? It’s easy to imagine the tension between the new breed of “craft” moonshiners and the descendents (who still have all their teeth!) of the old ones. A lot to play with there.

  2. Do the kids need to realize something’s off? You could have an interesting scene with the kids oblivious to the illegal liquor, and the bootleggers upset because they’ve been caught.
    Or, for instant pandemonium, have them stumble on meth or marijuana or something they’ll recognize and EVERYBODY freaks out!

    ….just realized Lourdes and I chose to see if we can help with story rather than merely comment on post. Cheers.

    Also,I read Memories of the Abyss. AGH, first of all. If you ever turn this into a play or something, I want to be Violet. Secondly, who did the villain bury?! What exactly was the secret Walter stumbled on??

  3. Oh, the kids know something is off… Linn knows perfectly well that’s a shotgun, and it’s aimed at them, and she’s moving very carefully… I’m playing with having Granny Clinch, an amalgam of Em Talon and Granny Weatherwax, save the day. Also, it ties into my mythology with these books, since the old woman giving advice is so often featured in fairy tales and myths.

    As for Memories, thank you! I have a sequel started, which will see her trying to regain her self, and leave the asylum. I may or may not revisit the events of this story. Most likely not… in real life, we have so many loose ends. As an author, I have to learn not to indulge in cleaning them all up. Most, yes, or readers get frustrated.

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