I’m delighted to welcome fellow Darkstroke author, Joan Livingston to my blog today to discuss writing motivations.
I confess that I’m a daydreamer. Big time. For much of my life, I used those dreams to try fixing whatever was going on in my life and make them turn out the way I imagined. Admittedly, that typically didn’t happen. But all that changed when I got serious about my writing and put my daydreaming skills to much better use in the fiction I create.
Author Stephen King put it well when he said writing is telepathic. That came from his book “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft,” and when I read it, I totally agreed that, at least for me, when I sit down at my computer, the words come from somewhere else. I never work by outlines. I don’t plan ahead. Frankly, I don’t even know “who dunnit” when I start one of my Isabel Long mysteries. I’m figuring that out along Isabel.
Often times, the next chapter will pop into my head when I’m driving, in the shower or doing some mindless chore. I can remember once weeding my garden when I got a revelation about the relationship between two characters that I had to run inside to write — it also changed the focus of my novel, “The Sweet Spot.”
Currently, I’m writing “Working the Beat,” number five in the Isabel Long Mystery Series. On Saturday morning, I had written one line for the next chapter — “Ted Morgan called while I was working in my garden” — before I had to leave with my husband for an errand. Ted is a source in Isabel’s latest case. Then, on the ride back from the errand the whole chapter popped into my brain as we sped along the highway. I savored that moment.
Here’s how the chapter now starts: “I called Ted Morgan when we got home but the guy who answered the phone told me over the whine of machinery that his boss was checking out a possible job. Didn’t know when he’d be back, hopefully soon because the lumber yard was expected to make a delivery and Ted will want to make sure the wood meets his standards. Yes, he has my number, I told the guy. It’s important.” Yes, Ted does return the call after a couple of pages.
I write because I thoroughly enjoy the experience. And it is so gratifying when I can share that enjoyment with my books’ readers.
About the Author:
Joan Livingston is the author of novels for adult and young readers, including the Isabel Long Mystery Series, published by Darkstroke Books. Recently, she published The Twin Jinn at Happy Jack’s Carnival of Mysteries, the first in a series for middle-grade readers. An award-winning journalist, she has been the editor-in-chief for newspapers in New Mexico and Western Massachusetts in the U.S., where she now lives.
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