I thought being in the zone was an appropriate topic since it’s Superbowl weekend and everyone is thinking about End Zones.
While I’m not quite in the end zone of Waterlily, the second book in my Maple Valley trilogy, I’m deep into revisions, writing new scenes, getting to know my characters better and making great progress – in the zone.
A writer I greatly admire from my just Cherry Writers critique group, Robin LaFevers, once led an online workshop where she asked us to identify our character’s greatest fears. What is he or she afraid of? Then, what is he or she really afraid of. Then, what is he or she REALLY, REALLY afraid of? Discovering these often hidden truths about your characters speaks to their motivation, helps you understand what they might do or how they might respond to situations, and can lead to the black moment, when they come face to face with their biggest fear. (Forgive me, Robin, if I’m misquoting you.)
This morning, while laying in bed thinking, then later, talking to my husband, I finally put my finger on what Michelle’s greatest fear is. Now, I hope to make the black moment reflect her deepest insecurity. Waterlily will be a better book because of it.
I also wrote a scene last night that I think is one of my best ever – clear protagonist, antagonist, goals, value change – it meets all the criterion, and it’s funny, too. I read it out loud to my husband last night and we were both cracking up so hard I couldn’t continue.
Is writing seasonal, like winter, spring, summer and fall – like football, baseball, or basketball seasons? Are there times when the words flow, when a flood of new ideas washes over you, and conversely, are there times when the well seems completely dry?
Whatever the triggers might be for me (I’m not sure I fully know or understand why this varies so much for me), I’m certainly glad I’m in THE ZONE. And for what it’s worth, I’ll probably be typing the whole time the Superbowl is on TV.
Here’s hoping your team wins!