A meet cute!

Another scene in my book is written! I love this!

My character seems to take on a life of her own as I write out her story. I’m not sure whether its my story or hers anymore. Everytime I sit down to write what I think I know I want to write, I end up writing something different. Maybe not completely different, but different in and of itself.

Today I took my heroine (whose name I shall now reveal as…*drumroll*…Nora!) to a familiar place. For me, at least. The sights and sounds were those I breathed deep for 10 weeks this summer, on breaks from work or just strolling by (although I have added small fictional places to this area, though.)

It’s here she has her meet cute! Although, she actually doesn’t know it, yet. teehee. I love it when I can make my characters blissfully unaware of the whirlwind they will be thrown into. It makes it more fun for me…. And hopefully more fun for my (someday) readers…not like this book is going anywhere other than my own computer. ;-)

Actually, funny thing happened tonight. My cousin sent me a facebook message saying she knows a guy who can get my transcript to a publisher. Can’t guarantee it’ll get printed, of course, but that I can at least give it to him to read for the possibility.

Now, as incredibly flattering as that was, I also don’t really have any hopes up.

You see, this writing-my-first-novel experience was going to be, and still is (I am *determined* it will be), a fun, enjoyable, adventurous outlet for my creativity. I am not setting deadlines. I have full-time school and a part-time job and other engagements I need to be a part of. So this book is not my top priority. Which seems to be the number-one rule I am breaking from my step-by-step book that’s helping me on this journey. But this journey was never intended to lead to publishers, to query letters or job offers. This book was never intended to be written in the course of 3-months. No. This journey is just meant as a release of thoughts, creativity, steam, and all the world’s questions into a fictional story.

Is it exciting to think of my book possibly getting published? Of course. I’m flattered that this guy even took it upon himself to tell my cousin (after she told him about it, of course) to give him the script. But I know better than to get my hopes up, dreaming of book signings and tours, speaking engagements, and a book deal. (Although the book deal would be quite nice, especially in paying for tuition payments!)

At any rate, just like my journey with my character, sometimes I don’t know where it’s going to lead. So I guess we’ll have to discover together.

And I’m excited. :-)

Writing Catharsis

What I quite possibly love most about writing is the catharsis it gives. Writing this book has been an exciting adventure, but today I felt amidst the adventure there was a comfort and relief that comes as I craft this story.

In the past couple weeks, I’ve went from taking long breaks to hunkering down and punching this out…back and forth. Most of which depends on how much homework I have. (Yes, I’m doing my homework instead! haha). On the days I have more time and more inspiration, I’ll sit for hours and write, edit, rewrite…move forward, then rewrite some more.

I think the most difficult thing so far has just been making up my mind about where the story is going to go. I know what my plot is. I know the general path I want my heroine and hero take. But I can’t make up my mind what the final destination will be. And that creates tension in my own mind, second-guessing my decisions about plots and destinations. But, alas, I assume this is just simply part of the process. And I am enjoying the process despite, neh, in part because of these difficulties.

As I mentioned above, one of the best parts about writing is the catharsis it brings. I have, for years, taken to writing (along with dancing) as a catharsis, when I need to sort through things or find a release. Often (other than dancing), I find writing in my journal or blogging always helps. And not to say that these things don’t still help me, as they very much so do.

But I had never realized the liberation that takes place when I can take my frustrations, my difficulties in life, my own personal struggles, and plug them into my character. The biggest difference between adding these things into my fictional novel is that I can choose how these things affect my character. I can choose how she uses these things to become who she is. I can decide to create a world that is so much more different than my own, while drawing upon my own real world as well.

This has, in turn, given me such a release that I never anticipated compared to the world of blogging. I feel like the blogging world is so real-life. The journalistic world is so real-life. My personal journal is so very real-life. But here, while writing this novel, is a very different world. And while many of the struggles and outside events are pieces of real life, creating this book is like creating a whole new world (thank you, aladin).


So here’s to more writing, more fiction, more real-life pieces, and more creating!

My first chapter: The Inciting Incident!

After about a week of what I would consider “Writer’s Block” I finally threw it all down tonight. I had been mulling over in my head my character’s plights and their back-stories for what seemed like forever. Somehow, I couldn’t get them to connect and make sense. Whatever I had worked out in my head always seemed far too illogical and impractical to make it solid in the story.

But feeling like I could get somewhere tonight (and I did!) I raced home from work and turned the key into my apartment. I threw my keys on the table and got right to work.
I probably sat and stared at my guidebook for at least an hour, still, jotting down thoughts and ideas down on a notebook. Then I decided to take a few steps back in the book, feeling like I had missed something before. After reading the sections over and over, I needed to work out their plights in my own head…but I needed some other examples first. So I started sifting through my ever-growing list of movies, thinking through each of the motivators behind their characters. Then in my brain, everything clicked.

I sat there, writing down details of their past and their present, their fears and failures, their dreams and aspirations…and suddenly, I had characters. Characters whose story made sense in a reality, characters whose motivators made sense in reality, characters whose decisions made sense in a reality.

And spurring from there poured out the beginning of chapter one. After going through several more sections in the guidebook, I was able to begin my story!
I have to say, it feels thrilling to get those first words down on “paper” (yes, I know it’s “electronic” paper now, thanks to Microsoft Word.) I know I will need to go through it many more times to make sure it’s “just right”, but it feels to get down a rough draft, making my character come alive with emotion and movement.

It’s one thing to say “I’m going to read a book.” But it’s a whole other story when you’re the one writing it! For once, you get to choose the characters, the theme, the story, the plot, the setting. You get to choose which guy or girl they end up with, or what their struggle will be through the whole story. And it’s an adventure all in itself as they take you on a journey through their world…as you’re creating it.

Now, I’ve been told and forewarned that the beginning is “all exciting n’ stuff”…but to watch out later on when things aren’t working out. This has tended to be my “MO”…when things hit speed bumps and I get frustrated, feeling disappointed, I “give up.” (although it’s a characteristic I wish I didn’t have). So here is my public announcement/plea for prayer that even though it’s “all exciting n’ stuff” now, that when it’s not exciting but frustrating, I will not give up and will continue until I FINISH this book. *Yes, I am soliciting your help*

So here’s to new beginnings!

A Real Fiction

One of the speedbumps I’ve run into lately has been my desire to create a story and characters that are realistic. When I watch a movie, or when I read a book, one thing that picks at me the most is if the story doesn’t seem realistic.

My roommate rented Just Wright the other day. As we were watching it, there were moments upon moments that I kept saying, “Ok, in real life, that never would have happened.” Like, for instance, when the hero and heroine meet: he’s a pro-basketball player, she a down-on-her-luck physical trainer. After the game, he sees her and starts talking to her as she got into her old beat-up car. Real life? Probably would never happen.

But also, take for instance action and adventure movies, like the Ocean’s movies or Lord of the Rings. Now, in that genre, unrealistic makes sense.

So the problem for me has become how to make my story make sense in a realistic world, while keeping the element of the unknown and “It IS fiction” factor in plotting my story.

My main goal is just to create characters we can relate to, people whose feelings and emotions are real, whose dreams and aspirations are realistic. But without a sense of excitement, adventure, and an element of fiction, what would the point be to reading the book?

Most of us like to read a book to escape into another world. We can travel to places we’ve never been, meet people we’d never meet, and do things we’ve never done, all just by cracking open that first page in a novel.

So if anyone has any suggestions on how to develop my characters and their story in a way that’s realistic but adventurous, I am open and willing to listen!

The Once Upon a Time thing…

I have simply discovered I am a creative person. I have always known this, in some sense. But I seem to have always constrained myself to certain forms of creativity…dance, photography, film making, journalism. But recently, I have been discovering that my creativity should not be bound by what I consider myself good at, but what I want to learn, as well. The first of this has been my new art-journal, something a friend of mine suggested I start, as I was doodling on coffee sleeves and the corners of my notes during class. And now, I have broadened my writing scope from journalism to novelist.

Once Upon a Time, I attended a women’s retreat at the camp of which most of my life has been spent. My mother suggested we attend (and later paid for my registration…thanks, mom!). So come Friday evening, I found myself pulling into the place which had become like a second home. Little did I know what the weekend would hold for me, and how it would change everything.

Our speaker for the weekend award-winning Minnesotan author (of some 30 novels), Susan May Warren. I was thrilled at her adventurous stories and I laughed at her hilarious anecdotes. But more-over, I was inspired. I was inspired to be more than who I was. More than who I was spiritually and emotionally. But by the end of the weekend, I was inspired to be someone I could be: a novelist.

Again, all thanks to my mother, we looked at her table with her books laid out. I picked up an adventure novel. But laying there beside her adventures, romances and suspense novels, lay a book entitled “from the Inside Out…discover, create and publish the novel in you!”

I had, since I was a young child, always love to write. Which is perhaps my destiny as a journalism major, and now an aspiring novelist. As a young child, for an assignment in the third grade, I wrote a chapter book entitled “The Mystery of the Missing Bones,” a case about a detective searching for missing Dinosaur bones. Since then, a few other “books” had begun brewing in my brain, and I even got to about the first chapter of one, but finding myself stuck so suddenly, I let them drift to the back-files in my computer.

So as I looked at it, curiously, I mentioned my interest to my mother, who graciously opened up her checkbook.

And since my first day, opening up that book, I have begun a journey I am thrilled and terrified to encounter.

Since Sunday, I have begun to develop my story, giving it dimension. I have developed my main characters, breathing into them life, quirks, and a history.

My original blog was entitled “When words create meaning” (which you can find at http://www.hjdavis11.blogspot.com). So the title of this blog is a spin-off of my original, emphasizing how simple words, crafted carefully, can create a story. So thus begins my journey of writing. Stay tuned for the thrills and the terrors I will discover.


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