Blogger: Mary Keeley
Books & Such agents and staff are on a writers’ retreat with our clients at the Monterey Plaza Hotel this week and lavishing them with attention. (See photo below of some of our clients being “swept away” by Monterey’s world-famous aquarium.) We’ll be re-posting blogs that received a goodly number of visitors and garnered considerable comments.
Authors are creative people—and it’s a good thing. If you had a strictly “process” brain, you would miss those unscheduled inspirations that come at inconvenient times.
How many ideas come to your mind when you’re sitting at your computer? And how often do you sit there staring at a blank screen?
One of my clients just e-mailed me an idea that came to him in the middle of the night. He had been struggling to significantly trim the word count of his fiction manuscript without removing anything vital to the main plot. This inspiration not only solved the current dilemma, but he also saw a way that the portions he was going to have to remove from this novel can be used in the next book.
Inspirations are wonderful, aren’t they? They can come to you while you’re at the grocery store, at your day job, or with your writing group partners. An author recently told me that inspirations sometimes come into view during the day while she cares for her two small children. She composes them into story form in her head until she can sit down at her computer after the children are in bed.
David Baldacci, known for his suspense novels, took an interest in his family’s history. His novel, Wish You Well, is the result of his study. He commented in the “Author’s Note” of the book: “Ironically, as a writer, I’ve spent the last twenty years or so hunting relentlessly for story material, and utterly failed to see a lumberyardful within my own family. However, while it came later than it probably should have, writing this novel was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.” Publishers Weekly called it “. . . his best novel yet, an utterly captivating drama.” He dedicated the book “To my mother, the inspiration for this novel.”
Inspirations are different from ideas that you manufacture. They can come to you quietly, or they can wake you from a sound sleep. They can develop gradually, or they can blow us away with their complete impression. They’re a special blessing and encouragement from God. So hats off to you,writers, as you anticipate, give thanks for, and develop the inspirations God gives you to communicate to your audience.
I know you’ve had instances when an inspiring idea came to mind. Do you recall where you were when it occurred? What did you do with it? Is one forming now?