Tuesday, July 8, 2014


I returned from an amazing adventure in Ireland - my daughter and I walked 111 miles around the Dingle Peninsula - with my batteries recharged.  I was eager to write.  I didn't know where my latest book was headed, which isn't unusual for me.  I never know where my books are going until they get there.  That's how I write.  (Did you know some people plan?  Outline, even?)

I was writing a fun chapter when BAM!  Something completely unexpected happened.  I was so shocked that I felt exhausted by it.  I couldn't write anymore for the day.  The turn of events absolutely wiped me out. It's such a weird experience when that happens.

When I was writing Fat Chance, I had a similar occurrence when the main character, Daphne, killed for the first time.  I'd no idea she was going to turn crazed serial killer, but when she did, the act of writing it was draining.

Is this how how other writers feel?  What about artists?  Do painters or sculptors or illustrators have times when their craft drains them both physically and mentally, or do I need to call a doctor?

Regardless, that's how it happens with me.  It took me two days before I could continue with the plot. Rather than deal with the surprise event again, I dove back into the middle and edited for a couple of days, hiding like a chicken shit from the thing that surprised me.  It made me so uncomfortable, I didn't want to deal with it, but after a couple of days, I did.  I had to.  I couldn't just leave that poor character alone in that horrible mess.

It's still very shocking, but I'm writing again and still I wonder where this book is headed.  It has taken several turns since it first began.  In fact, it's a completely different novel than when I began writing it.  Good thing I'm not a house builder, because I think my approach to creating would result in some pretty screwed up floor plans.

Time to get back to the task at hand.  What will happen today?