Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Update - A Prophet's Tale and Mind Wanderings

Remiss have I been (apologies to Yoda) in not updating sooner. Between closing out the semester, getting grades tallied and posted, two more grandchildren, and a whole bunch more excuses, the blog has suffered. Let's see...what has happened (other than my excuses, that is!)

A Prophet's Tale is still on the front burner. I've submitted a query to a fine agency and hope to hear something within the next couple of months. This part of the series has been a joy to write and I'm really excited about getting it published. Pray, if you will, that the avenue for the book will become clear. And many thanks to those who continue to ask, "When's the next book coming out?" Questions like that keep the heat up under the project. I hope to have news soon--and, of course, I hope the news is good! Meantime...

If you've seen the movie Miss Potter (excellent movie, by the way--highly recommended), the lead-in dialog (repeated at the very end) is very insightful. In it, Miss Potter avers that you never know where a book will lead you after you write the first line. If you've ever written fiction, you'll nod your head, knowing exactly what she's talking about. The story does indeed take on a life of it's own. I recall, when working through a scene in the latter part of The Journey Begun, sitting back in my chair and musing, "Now, that's interesting. I wonder why he did that." A minor character--one I originally brought in as little more than a prop--suddenly did something quite unexpected and changed the whole climax of the story. So, I leaned forward and started punching keys just to see what would happen next. (Nervous yet? It gets scarier...)

It wasn't so much the 'little voices in my head' thing as it was the story carrying me along in its own current. And, like the Mississippi or the Tanana Rivers, the channel changes from day to day--it's never the same river viewed twice in succession. That's the joy of writing. The story jinks and twists seemingly on its own. Where you thought you were going yesterday--or, at least, how you thought you were going to get there--is no longer the same. So, when you hear an author say, "The story kind of wrote itself", he's not being coy. She's being quite honest about the process. And I'm glad, too. If the story didn't write itself to some extent, I'd sure never be able to push one out. Of that I'm convinced.

Hope to have more news soon. Thanks for sticking with me!