Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


Alpha and Omega

I usually approach a story with a strong voice, a character or characters with a problem, and a setting. The voice is the engine that propels the narrative. Sometimes I know the ending, sometimes I have a vague idea of what the ending must ultimately be, but the journey of the story influences and enriches how I arrive there. Even when I know ultimately what state of being the character must arrive at the end of the story, the means by which the character arrives influences so very much, and in many ways, writes the story. It is sometimes clear, sometimes muddled.

I am muddled right now as I work on a picture book, Miss Smackbottom Lives Three Doors Down. I know my main character, I know my antagonist, I know what must transpire, and I have a sense of the state of being at which my character must arrive by the end. Still, a missing link (s) eludes me. As if hiding behind an opaque screen in my writing mind that I can almost make out, it is playing hide and seek, throwing hints in my direction if I don't "think" too hard. This frustrates and amazes me because I recognize the creative process, and know I have to allow myself access by crawling through a window, so to speak, instead of knocking on the front door demanding it show itself. And, of course, practice patience and stillness. I do this by smiling at the games of my muse, who is just waiting for me to figure out the solution that completes the story.


Lauren said...

And the solution to your story will arrive in the most surprising and least expected way, I am certain. I almost think it is best to turn away and concentrate on something else, and then just when you have forgotten all about your dilemma- there it is! Your story has a wonderful title! I look forward to reading it!

Christy said...

Ahhh, your post is back--hooray! Betsy, I love this description of the sly muse. So much is about process, listening, and waiting, being there available. I know you will find clarity eventually.

Edie Hemingway said...

I'm so glad you weren't permanently deblogged! I love the thought of crawling through a window, instead of knocking at the front door. And I'm dying to learn more about the practice of stilled attention.