The journey, when writing a story, is a ticket with no expiration date—It takes as long as it takes.
There are many things I look at when thinking about my next story. One is the PLOT.
Are the characters compelling enough to evoke within the reader a range of emotions: from sadness to happiness, to anger, to sympathy. . . . remorse, guilt, understanding, anxiety, fear, disappointment, romance?
I believe the reason why my writing resonates is I cut to the chase and give believability to my characters. I feel the most memorable plots are ones when life traps characters between a rock and a hard place. Urgency is the time bomb—minutes and seconds wasted can change life’s course. Think of Casablanca, The Christmas Carol, It’s A Wonderful Life, or Saving Private Ryan. Each story has a do-or-die-plot.
I think we are a curious breed. We run on the path, not of boredom, but one of uncertainty, danger, excitement, and drama. We want to devour challenges, as in the movies, and definitely, are HOOKED TO THE NEWS.
What are my character’s challenges?
In my soon to be released novel, The Last Merry Go Round, it’s the secrets between a husband, a wife, and their children that have everlasting effects on the family—trying to hide secrets are even more challenging when the truths are an even bigger cover-up. Secrets within this family could be your neighbors’, found in the headlines, or hidden deep in a reader’s family skeleton. Of course, it’s fiction, imagination sprinkled with a stroke of twists and turns.
In my novel (on Amazon), The Ears That Have Eyes is a juicy page-turner about four Los Angeles women who confront each other’s betrayals with sabotaging lies. IF their years of friendships are to survive, each will have to make an enormous personal sacrifice. Sometimes, friends can be replaced without the guilt that takes you to your grave—or can it?
Are the challenges worth it for the reader to hang around for 80,000-plus words?
I found it’s not enough to write my ass off. It’s the MARKETING, MARKETING, SOCIAL MEDIA, SOCIAL MEDIA—UNTIL ALL YOUR TIME IS COBBLED UP. I think Multi-tasking and Time-Management play huge roles.
In my world, I have many fans. But I want to be a globally known writer, and this takes time and more time and more time. Some days I don’t even get to my next story, because I don’t have the time. I feel I have to put myself out there and take marketing and publicity risks. Even with all the marketing and such…. I know, again and again, that’s it’s the story, THE STORY, that gets the reader to buy, read, and spread the word. I’m grateful for every reader who invested their time in my stories.
And YES, when I finish my stories, I do celebrate with a glass of wine or champagne. It takes a lot of energy to fill up a blank page and make it to THE END.
MY NEXT PROJECT, IN PROGRESS, is full of challenges, and a twisting plot:
I Lived Through My Death~~~
The main character is a single, thirty-something, procrastinator when it comes to her health. She ignores the signs, hoping they’ll disappear and go back into remission. Her doctor says, “Get your life in order.” How can she, when unfulfilled dreams are like unopened presents, gathering dust in her journals? The challenge for us all: WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH THE LAST EIGHTEEN -MONTHS (give or take a few bonus months) of your life?