How I Tackle Writing
by Celia Yeary
Did you know you can find numerous articles on the internet about how to write a novel? Most of them begin with “think of a good story.” Now that, in my opinion, is the most fascinating bit of advice I’ve ever read. “Think of a good story.” I wonder if Margaret Mitchell said that to herself as she sat down at her typewriter. She certainly had a good story; I’ll admit that.
How did Margaret Mitchell find the novel titled Gone With the Wind? I have no idea, but I don’t imagine she sat down one day at her desk and thought, “I need to think of a good story,” and voila! her Best-Selling Novel was born.
First, for me to think up a good story I need time to DAYDREAM. That’s step number one —time to stare into space and let my mind wander, imagining a scene or a character. This might occur while I’m watching mind-numbing television, or while we’re on a long road trip and I have time to stare at the highway in front of me, or best of all, the house is quiet and I’m all alone.
Second, I need A PROMPT of some kind. This might be an old weathered gray house on the side of the road, and I wonder who lived there and why. Maybe I see unique person walking along the sidewalk, and I wonder who she is and where is she going. Perhaps I read a news article, and something in it turns into a scene with people acting out the story in the article.
Third, I need to ENVISION a character, male or female, doesn’t matter. Who is this character? What is her story? I needed to write a 25,000 word Christmas story, and I thought of a couple who recently married. She is a nurse, very tall, and she married a doctor who is even taller. So, my story is based on a young woman who is to be maid of honor to her brother’s best man. She worries, but when she meets him, he stands even taller than she. And of course, he’s a hunk. In my story, my heroine is a pediatric nurse and my hero is an ex-Army medic.
In a nutshell, that is how I begin writing a story. Let me give you an example. Occasionally, we travel north about 200 miles to visit my mother in the nursing home. On the way, we pass a road sign that points west and says, Thurber 15 miles. I’ve never heard of this town. So when I returned home, I immediately Googled the name. I learned it is a ghost place with only one tall smokestack and numerous cemeteries remaining. Once, though, it had been a thriving town of 3,000 that produced coal. Ah, so Erath County had coalmines. When?
From a little research, I learned all about the town and even found a website with old photos. The citizens abandoned it around 1915, and the owners of the coal mine leveled it. Why? I found a rich history there in that area, which resulted in my imagining a young man who walked away, wandering until he came upon a farm where a young girl lived with her family. From there, the entire story fell into place.
I titled my story Wish for the Moon and is now contracted with Willow Moon Publishing. The story turned out to be a “coming-of-age” novel, which created a problem with getting someone to publish it. I refused to make it into a pure romance, and that dilemma happened more than once. I stubbornly held on to it. While it is an adult love story, romance is not the focus. In a stroke of very good luck, I ran across WMP.
Thank you for reading today. I do appreciate Nancy for inviting me to guest on her blog.
Bio: Celia Yeary-Romance...and a little bit 'o Texas
Texas Promise-eBook-Desert Breeze Publishing
Making the Turn-print & eBook-Wings ePress