So, after my failed imitation of a coordinated person this week, when this message from the Universe dropped into my inbox, I decided the Universe had me in its sights. 😆 But enough of real life. Let’s apply this to writing and plots.
The one who prepares for adversity, Silver, builds not a bridge of retreat, but one upon which adversity advances.
So hey, glorious day, huh?
Prepare to be thrilled, Silver. Works the same.
See, to me, books without some inherent danger? I don’t want to write them and I certainly don’t want to read them. I want characters to face adversity and overcome it. That makes for a compelling story.
There’s that whole “old adage” about torturing your characters. This is true. As a writer, it’s important to figure out the worst that can happen, make it happen, and then steer the character(s) back toward the light. It’s that conflict–internal AND external–that makes for a page-turning story people (hopefully) will want to read.
But this also applies to the writer. Writers need to find the soul of the story they want to tell. They need to find the conflict within themselves to spill it across the page. When I hit a rough spot in the ol’ Work In Progress–which happens far more often than I like, I can’t build a bridge to retreat. Because being a writer means “NO SURRENDER!” But the thing about bridges? They leave the way open for other things–friends and foes alike.
Writers are entrepreneurs, whether they write for a publishing house or self-publish. And when you check your sales for your back list and the line is flat for a week and you’re wondering where grocery money is going to come from next month, you just have to grit your teeth and get back to wrestling that adversity. And then there’s the other things that mess with a writer’s mind.
See, I don’t read reviews. As a rule. Sometimes I stumble across one and when it’s a happy review, I sorta grin and dance in my chair for a few seconds and then go back to work. Because that’s why I write. I want to tell stories that people read–that touch them and make them want to leave reviews because my words, my characters touched them. I’ve done that. And I read one of those reviews yesterday. *waves at Ev* and those leave me a little teary-eyed while I’m doing the chair dance. But then there are the ones that feel a lot like a knife to the gut. Read one of those too. And see? That bridge that’s built for both the story and the writer? Yeah, adversity walks right over it. But that’s okay. That’s life. That’s how it’s supposed to be. That’s how we grow and change and evolve and become who we are supposed to be. And yeah, that might be the concussion talking. 😆
So…it is a glorious day, I’m prepared to be thrilled, and I’m braced for whatever adversity comes my way. How about you?