Monday, May 30, 2011

You know it's working when it makes you cry

I was writing the latest book last night - as part of the mega in-the-bunker rewrite - and I reached a point where it clicked.
It does that some times... writing. It just clicks. I had sat down to write that particular scene several times over the last few days and just couldn't find the right words so last night I sat down and said I wouldn't move until it was done. It was a short scene - a letter in fact - but it felt like an enormous hurdle because it had to be just right.

So anyway, I sat and I wrote, and those 300 words took about an hour and a half and by the end I was crying because the woman who wrote the letter (Betty) seemed so very real and my heart actually ached for her.

Does that sound mad? Does that sound as if I am finally losing the plot? Those who don't write don't always get how our characters can become as real to us during the writing process as if they were sitting in the same room.
There are characters from past books who have never left me. I wonder how Daisy is getting on? Did she and Dr. Dishy get their happy ending? Did Grace have another baby? Are Beth and Dan deliriously happy with baby Lucas? Are Aoife and Tom Austin now sitting in their yardin drinking a cold glass of wine while Maggie watches CBeebies in the house?
I wonder how Detta is, and Ruth and Ciara. I wonder did Ciara get the great job she dreamed of?  And I wonder how Darcy is doing... where her problems resolved?

You see, all these people they live in our heads while we are writing them - while we are shaping their lives and their thoughts and their actions that you can't just switch off.

And I don't think I'll ever forget Betty.

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