In Part One, I told you about this publisher’s writing prompt. I told you I decided to pass, even though it was a great opportunity. It nagged at me, though. I have written two Epic 400,000 word series. Why the heck couldn’t I do something with this picture?
I opened the web site back up. I stared at that picture. I was brutally aware that I was now two-weeks behind all those happy writers that seemed to be all over this story. I could do this. I stared at the picture some more. I put it on my desktop. Looked at it all the time. Thought about it all the time.
Had I lost my touch?
“Just do it,” my son says. “Just write it. Get it over with and see what happens.” I ground my teeth as my own words came back to haunt me. (See my previous post) Problem was… this was a publisher, not a fourth-grade teacher. They wouldn’t be happy with a “B”. This needed to be “A” grade work.
I had no idea where to start, so I used a trick that I’ve used in my novels when I’m not sure how to start a new chapter. I took the character in the picture— I knew nothing about her, just what she was wearing and a setting.
I sat down to my keyboard, and had her take a simple step. The wind whipped up around her. Her shoes got dirty in the mud. The air chilled her face… I engaged myself into her setting. I allowed myself to feel her.
You know what happened?
Within one paragraph, I knew who she was. I knew where she was going. I knew how she had to get there. I knew why she was going. I knew what she had to do. Her character snowballed in my mind.
Do have a story? Well, no. Not yet. I need more characters. I need to develop those characters. I need conflict. I need antagonists. I need explosions. I need overlying theme and plot.
But I had a start. And, to my surprise, I was suddenly interested in that woman in the picture.