Saturday, March 12, 2016

Spring to Mind

Spring marches swiftly.  Robins poke at the grass outside my office window.  I spend mornings writing with the window open.  Chirping and increasing road traffic reverberate around my writing nook.  Although Hope (The World In-between, 5) takes place in the spring, the outside becomes background noise.

This one scene sequence constantly plays in my mind.  It doesn’t care if I’m not at that point in the story yet.  My main goal has been to get my characters there.  The scene is a major turning point in the story and in Hope’s character development.  I want to say that I didn’t plan that scene when I first started, but somewhere in my mind, I think I did.  Why else would I have dropped the breadcrumbs?

It’s funny.  In my literature classes, we were expected to deconstruct stories, look for meaning, what the author intended, et cetera.  When I walked across that stage and received my degree holder, writing had well taken hold of me, yet, becoming a novelist wasn’t in the plans then.  Five years after my college graduation day, I wrote down my imaginings—the beginnings of the first novel which will never see the light of day in its current form.  As I sit here, many books later, I ponder my own intentions in my stories, author wise.

For the most part, I don’t seem to have any.  I write what the story wants to be.  The details…  Yes, I research character names and choose them accordingly.  I research mythos, beasts, and legends.  I research facts.  Do I throw hidden meaning into my stories?  No.  Not intentionally, at any rate.

However, I have to wonder.  Does my brain work in more mysterious ways?  Does it know more than it lets me know?  Along the way to this moment, I learned the rules of writing, the rules of storytelling, allegory, the significance of characters, their props, and the story line itself.  For me, sentence structure is an unconscious decision.  Being proficient in diagramming sentences has allowed me to visualize grammar, clauses, and syntax.

I don’t concern myself with the hows, ways, and means of writing.  I just write.  Somewhere between my brain and my pen, those things just happen.  Readers see things I cannot or do not during my writing.  I say that I don’t outline my stories.  And I don’t or if I do, I don’t look at it again.  But deep within the folds of my cerebrum, a plan forms and I follow it, even when I don’t think I do.

The page in Hope where I am now has me wondering why I brought these characters to this place.  What are they supposed to learn here?  In essence, what is their purpose at this moment in the plot? Tomorrow morning, while the cat is torn between “helping me write” and keeping an eye on the birds out the window, I’m sure I will discover what bit of knowledge I am hiding from myself.

My writing nook’s window faces east.  Rays from the sun rising over the mountains spill onto my pages.  I find a comforting energy in morning sunlight, no matter what the season.  Although fall is, by far, my favorite season, spring brings something special.  Spring’s thawing warm weather wakes up the brain.  Sounds flittering through my windows bring me back to my childhood.  Spring also reminds us that we grow, that the seeds planted long ago have taken root, and that we use everything to make us who we are and direct us to where we go.