Steps to a Story: following where the story leads

I have the ending of With Honor outlined already, but I confess the next section was somewhat (or perhaps entirely) blank in the plan.  We left Matthew at Charlotte’s house, recovering from his wound.  Now I need to get him healed, get the romance cooking a little, and then get back to the main plot.  We do want to capture the Golden Wolf at some point, after all!

When I sat down to write tonight, I had one image in my head (Matthew sitting in the garden, warmed by the sun and surrounded by chickens) and two goals for the section (healing and attraction, as mentioned above).  That was all I had.  Less than an hour later, the first draft of the section is basically done, and I am quite pleased with the result.

How did I do it?  I started writing and let the story and the characters take the lead.  Obviously this means more than sitting down with my computer, since other sections have required a great deal more effort.  However, the two goals of the section were relatively un-demanding and I’ve gotten to know the characters (especially Matthew) as I’ve been writing the story.  Charlotte is a bit easier for me to understand than Matthew; I am very familiar with one of her descendants who takes after her in several ways.  (The descendant is one of the characters in my novel.)  Plus, I’m female.  If you’ll recall, part of the goal of taking on this story was for me to stretch my wings a bit and focus on a male main character; I’ve gotten pretty practiced at the female point of view.

Tonight I jumped in to the writing without a clear idea of where I was going, let the characters talk and the scene flow naturally, and was pleasantly surprised and pleased with where it ended up.  That sounds like a successful evening of writing, wouldn’t you say?


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. amkuska
    Apr 15, 2011 @ 21:27:57

    Your mention of chickens had me laughing. I took my dog to a friend’s house who had chickens once, and will never forget the experience. My dog, so you know, is about 7 pounds.

    I took him over to see the chickens. (Through a fence!) There was one chicken outside. Rocco (the dog) studied the chicken, and promptly began prowling forward with this, “Helllo delicious!” look on his face. The chicken sat there looking quite fat and patient, and a buddy wandered out of the hen house to come look at the dog.

    Rocco paused. One chicken is quite large, but managable…two chickens? Well, maybe he could distract it.

    Then a third chicken came out, and a fourth…poor Rocco! He ran back to me, and hasn’t messed with chickens since. 😉


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