Inspiration, sometimes known as The Whack Against the Head

April 27, 2006 | It's All About Writing

I’ve been in a real writing slump this past month. Actually two. It was driven home when Studly noticed something was wrong and sat me down for a talk.

“Okay, Babe, what’s going on?”
“Nothing.” No truer words were ever spoken.
“You’re not yourself. What’s going on with the new book?”
“The exact same 1200 words as before.”
“Drag it out and let’s talk about it.”

After much whining and procrastinating I dragged out my two wrinkled pages of crap and handed them over.

“Aah, yeah. I see your problem.” Ya gotta love a guy of few words. “It’s just not clear.”
“Actually, I thought it just stunk.” Okay, maybe I’m being a bit harsh on myself, but the self-pity route seemed a good choice even if it was non-productive.

“First off you can’t have the guy’s dick “jumping to life”. Dicks just don’t do that. And if they did it would hurt.”
“G told me the same thing, or maybe it was Melissa.” His eyebrow cocked and the yummiest look swept into his chocolate eyes. “G is a woman, Studs, from my critique group.”
“Good. Now let’s get back to work.”

And so we did for over an hour. Studly has an amazing eye for sensitivity and logic in writing. Then again, Studs is a pretty amazing guy all around.

The next morning I sent off two samples of the first chapter to Beth and Yasmine. Beth liked the first while Yasmine is still scrutinizing my measly offerings. They both agreed one specific line had to be worked in somehow.

The first piece was sassy and bold, a style more suited to my nature per Beth. The second was refined and laid back. The characters in the first of this four book series were that way. Not these two new ones. They are smart, streetwise, and well-educated. Therefore the style of the book has to be action filled.

Now here’s my point. Are you ready? Grab my hand and we’ll take this leap of faith together.

You have to write your book true to your characters. I guarantee you it will not work if you force a style onto your hero and heroine that isn’t natural to them. Nope! I hear your refusal to accept the inevitable and I’m not listening.

Trust me on this – you will not have the inspiration required to write 50,000 plus words if you don’t listen to your lead characters. They know what they’re talking about.

Auf Wiedersehen, I’m off to Austria to help Wolfe and Eleanor sort out the fiasco they’ve gotten themselves into!


Add A Comment

11 Responses to “Inspiration, sometimes known as The Whack Against the Head”

  1. Beth Anderson Says:

    Are you absolutely SURE Studley’s not for rent? Hey, maybe he ought to start coming to our meetings, he could help all of us.
    One at a time, of course. 😉

    Re the erotic romp coming up in this one, I think your true voice is coming to the fore (skin) now.

    Git ‘er done!

  2. Sloane Says:

    Hotclue, you little slut, keep your hands off Sstudly! He’s mine!!!!! Dammit I waited long enough for a good guy. Unless you’d consider a little swap thing with the Count?

    Studs is petrified to come to our meetings. I’ve asked him everytime and he gets the weird shade of green. Do you think it could be my cooking since I bring it up when we’re having dinner?

  3. Sherrill Quinn Says:

    Sloane, that man is definitely a keeper. Hang onto him! And you’re right about being true to the characters. If you try to make them act in a way that’s not natural to them, you’re in trouble.

    Have a great weekend, hon!

  4. Sloane Says:

    You too, doll. Hope your working on another hot book because I sure am up for one of yours!

  5. J.J. Says:

    Great topics and info. Keep up the good work.

  6. Maya Says:

    Hope the trip to Austria is providing inspiration and relaxation.

    Be safe and enjoy.

  7. Jenna Says:

    Oooh…enjoy your holidays.

    I learned a long time ago to listen to the characters. Now I just got start paying attention to the story. Sigh. There’s always a catch.

  8. Sloane Says:

    No, Ladies, you misunderstood. I’m not actually in Austria, dammit. I’m here in the Indiana boonies writing the sequel to TEDDI TURNS ON which takes place in Austria.

    Actually, I wish we were in Austria. I’d show you girls some really neat places and a few guys we could drool over all day, and hopefully, night.

  9. Yasmine Phoenix Says:

    Ha, Ha. No matter what you say, your characters DO SPEAK TO YOU!! And it just might be through Dear Studly. Lovely man, could he serve us at our meetings? Bring water, drinks, a Big Mac?

  10. Sloane Says:

    Nope! They’re moving pictures. The scene unfolds with such clarity it surprises me.

    Yeah! I bet you want his Big Mac. LOL.

  11. T.A. Chase Says:

    Studly sounds like a keeper, Sloane.

    You’re right. Your story needs to stay true to the characters it’s about. At times, I admit, it’s hard for me to do because I’ll think some other phrase or word would sound better, but it wouldn’t be what either of my characters would say. 🙂

    And being the writer you are, I’m sure you can get Wolfe and Eleanor out of their trouble.