I could say any way and every way and end the blog post here and continue watching my DVRed The Great Food Truck Race without my laptop on my lap. But no. No, because it’s not that simple.
I think a lot of writers get stuck in the way things are, were or should be. So an idea pops and the writer thinks — nah — that wouldn’t work for the way I write what I like to write. I’m thinking about specifics and how that glimmer of an idea comes to us — how we tweak it and test it until it meets our needs and becomes our fully formed work of women’s fiction.
I started a new WIP last week or or the week before. I don’t remember. Being a card-carrying pantser, all I knew was that my main character had kick ass intuition. Even a premonition or two. And I pushed aside the fact that no one really knows anything about either of these somewhat female phenomena, or if they’re really just snazzy coincidences. But what I reminded myself is that in women’s fiction all that matters is that it’s believable, not if it could happen in real life, because it does happen — in the real life of my fictional characters.
Writerly nuances are tricky, I know.
I knew at first that there are really two MCs — sisters. I knew that the grandmother raised the older sister and the older sister raised the younger sister. What I didn’t know was where the heck their mother was. (I knew that neither sister knew their fathers. Note the plural.) And then it hit me. Twice.
So in this new WIP currently titled, The Grass Is Always Greener on the Other Side of Ohio (lifted out of a real life conversation with my BFF), I wrote a few thousand words — the same few thousand — a few times. But my best ideas are coming to me when I’m not writing at all. When I’m doing something completely different — and busy with other work and other projects. This story is evolving without me! I’m the secretary, it seems. I jot down the ideas as they come…the names, the places, the twists. It’s not a fully formed concept yet, but it’s arriving like passengers debarking from a plane — one, then another, then a bunch, then a lull. Were those the only people on the plane, you wonder. Nope, here come some more. One. Two. A gaggle. A straggler. And just when you thought the plane was empty, out walks the pilot — with her hat under her arm, wings pinned to her lapel.
Wasn’t expecting that? Me either!
And that’s the way this story is unfolding with somethings expected, some gaps and plenty of surprises.
I am sure there are writers of women’s fiction – and any fiction who formulate a plan and a story and stick to it.
In real life I am an undeniable creature of habit. In my writing life? Not. So. Much.
What I’m trying to remember as let this story simmer, is that anything is possible. It’s fiction. There is no can’t. No shouldn’t. No wouldn’t.
Just a teetering tower of what ifs and a bushel of enthusiasm — and lots of pens and paper all over the house and in the car so I never miss anything that’s thrown my way. Because you just never know who might come walking out of the plane — or in the case of Di, my new MC, who just might show up at the front door after twenty-five years.