Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Eureka moment

I took off this afternoon to have lunch with a brilliant writer and wonderful friend. She knew the problems I had been having and said, "So tell me about these novels." I launched into a long discussion about the first one and she said casually, "Now this is interesting. I didn't tell you to tell me about the first novel, just these novels, but you chose to talk about the first one.  This is telling--your heart is in this one right now."  Something sparked in me and I knew she was right.  I just felt it.  

Then as I was talking about the problem of moving these characters 20 years into the future,a plot point that had me stymied,  she calmly ate her pasta and said, "So, why do you have to do that?  Why can't you keep the story in the present moment? It sounds as if you are trying to do what you did in Breathe and you really don't need to for this particular story. It's rich enough to be in one contained time period."

Instantly, there was another internal shock.  Fireworks, really. 
That one comment solved my major problems, focused the novel and gave me the voice. 

I cannot tell you how freeing this was. How jazzed I am.  How brimming with gratitude.  Sometimes when you are so deep in the writing forest, not only do you not see the trees, you don't even see the forest. 

And if you are very lucky, you have a loving friend with a powerful flashlight and an excellent sense of direction.

1 comment:

Jessica Keener said...

Wow!! What a gift of insight from your brilliant friend. A true blessing.