I spent the last five days in Florida.
Exhaling two very busy months. Inhaling time with my husband as we celebrated his birthday. Reading fantastic books (James L. Rubart’s The Long Journey to Jake Palmer, Rachel Hauck’s, The Wedding Shop, Betsy St. Amant’s (with Katie Ganshert and Becky Wade) To Have and to Hold) and an exceptional book byAllen Arnold, The Story of With: A Better Way to Live, Love & Create.
We also did some fun stuff. Swimming in the ocean, jet-skiing, SCUBA diving. Experiencing life.
I’ve discovered that the busier I get, the more I need time to just breathe. To remember my WHY. To hear my thoughts, as well as others.
We need this in our stories as well. In writer’s terms, we call them scenes (fun) and sequels (breathing). Or Action and ReAction Scenes. Those places where the characters slow down, look back, respond to what just happened and consider their choices. AKA, regroup.
And, right in the middle of the book, we need a moment of WHY. (James Scott Bell explains this in his fantastic (short, and inexpensive!) book called Write Your Novel from the Middle.) It’s that moment when your character takes a powerful and realistic look at himself in the mirror. It’s this moment–it’s what he sees–that motivates him to continue the journey. Maybe he sees his inadequacies. His failures. Maybe he sees what he WANTS to be.
Hopefully he sees that to get where he wants, he need to change. Grow.
But he won’t get there without a moment to hear his thoughts. To ponder his WHYs.
If you’re stuck in a story today…or in life, GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION to exhale for even just an hour. Take a walk. Sit on the porch and listen to your thoughts. (and do it without your phone!)
Make a delicious meal and savor it with a loved one.
You don’t have to go to the beach to exhale. (But admittedly, it helps.)
But, you do need to do it if you hope to write great fiction.
(By the way, Bethel Football won their game Saturday!)
Your story matters. Make time to hear it.
Go! Write something brilliant!
P.S. THE STORY EQUATION is now up for PREORDER on Kindle! Are you struggling with HOW to put a story together? So was I…until I discovered that you could plot and write an entire book by asking ONE question. It all unfolds from there–and I show you how (and all my secrets). Preorder now: out October 11!
“The Story Equation is pure genius.” — Randy Ingermanson, author of Writing Fiction for Dummies