Working my way through my second science fiction novel, I am struck by the way the stories reveal themselves to me. As they do, I quickly note them down in my story arc file or book notes files, or one of the many other places I keep my thoughts, depending on where they land. This morning as I wrote and another story arc revealed itself, I felt the excitement of writing about this character, the places she would go, the things she would do, until her death would bring us to depart.
These are the ideas that get me excited to write. Seeing the possibilities with a distinct direction revealing itself to me. Following the story where ever it goes.
The stories write themselves in the act of creation. Sure, I write a very high-level outline where I want the book to go. But once I start writing, all bets are off. I am no longer in control. I follow the story where ever it goes. The story tells itself, however, it chooses. I am the one writing it down, organizing the endless quantities of characters. But the creation that comes is something more than that.
It tires me at times and energizes me at others. I am amazed at what comes forth. It may be beautiful or dreadful. The scenes of battle and death sometimes sicken me, the pain burns my soul, the quiet love quickens my heart. All of these feelings and more come through the writing.
I have evolved through this. I’ve learned to listen deeply to myself, to take note of even the small quiet ephemeral thoughts that are here for a moment and then gone.
The characters are like good friends. Something you value as you get older. I get the opportunity to know them as they grow. To see their strengths and foibles. To walk with them through the valley of death and not fear the darkness. But instead, embrace it. Both the dark and the light.