Friday, January 27, 2012

Taking a Left Turn with My Writing

So...I started out as a wanna-be romance writer and now I'm (ahem) a full-blown mystery writer. How did this left turn occur?

Blame it on Morgan St. James.

Ms. St. James, a talented mystery writer, spoke to my book club about her writing journey. I sat and listened as she spoke of hooks and simplicity. Months later, her words kept coming back to me about how she writes what interests her.

Cue up to two weeks ago: the word "hook" stayed with me several months later. I found myself with some free time on my hands as I watched my students play soccer. My mind kept mulling around the idea of "hook" and simplicity. I thought back to the books I'd read over Christmas break and suddenly, I flashed on this weird idea. I busted up laughing, which caused my students to think I'd gone loco, and immediately discarded the whole thought.

That bizarre thought kept coming back. Again and again. On the drive home from school, the main character of the bizarre idea began to speak to me - an occurrence that I've never experienced. By the time I pulled into my driveway, I couldn't get into the house fast enough.

I immediately hit the couch, revved up Scrivener, and began to type as fast as that character could speak. I couldn't type fast enough. I didn't stop to research, I didn't stop to outline. I just wrote. I typed and typed.

For 10 days.

Every moment that I wasn't working, cooking, sleeping, etc. I typed and typed what my character told me to write. I listened to her and obeyed.

Now I sit here with a first draft for the first time in my writing life and I'm giddy with excitement. I've so much work ahead of me, but I can now say that I'm a writer and not a hobbiest. I'm no longer doing this for fun I'm doing this to publish by this summer.

Driving instructors say that left turns prove the hardest to make for most drivers. For this writer? This left turn changed me completely and I'm embracing the uphill climb.

Thanks for listening.


  1. I love that you did this! And that you listened to what your character said and just kept going. Yay!