Since I began the transition from emotional word weaving like the poetry and prose in my first two books, to attempting to write a full length novel, I have come to realize some of the agonies in which writers speak of. I will be documenting my journey from poet to novelist as I want you to be a part of this with me. So keep an eye out for future posts under my ‘Author Notes’ category to read about my latest challenges and my writing process. As a bonus, when the book finally nears publication, you will be given the opportunity to participate in character naming and more!
From a short piece of prose that I wrote a few years ago, I decided to work off it and write my first book. I chose the piece because the tremendous amount of feedback you gave me was quite intriguing. Most of you directing me to tell you more about the old man who led my prose and how it read like a prologue to a book that you would like to read. (Thank you for the encouragement by the way!)
After a year of debating whether or not I wanted to do it, and of course doubting my abilities on whether or not I could do it…I took the leap and dug in, composing layers of this old mans life and the story seemed to tell itself…at first. I found myself drawn to his loneliness and despair because at that time I was still going through the grieving process over losing two very important people in my life. My grandmother and my uncle, for which if you follow me, you know they were the inspiration behind the majority of my work in Magic in the Backyard. So, writing from a place of sadness made it easier to tell the story of this man.
As time has now began to heal my pain and I am able to reflect more on celebrating their life and not so much on the fact that I have lost them (which is a good thing), my old man has begun to suffer. I was able to immediately punch out 2,000 words on his behalf when I came to a stand still. I needed direction, focus to get me back on track. That’s when I started posting my woes to my Facebook…of course, right? In my time of tragedy, or so it felt, someone reached out to me in my time of need and offered to help. Rebecca T. Dickson, (writing coach and personal ass kicker) stepped up to bat, encouraging me to go on. This old man has a story to tell and Becky was there to make sure I did it. Reminding me in her subtle way that I am his voice and if I don’t put down the words, no one else will. She is the ‘writer whisperer’ in my opinion. That did it…I was back in the saddle and on a roll! I went from a dead end of 2,000 words stampeding my way past the 8,000 word mark in just a matter of a couple days. It was amazing!
Suddenly, I had the wind at my back (more like Becky breathing down my neck telling me, ‘Just flippin’ do it already’) and I was seeing my characters world come to life before my eyes. It was almost like directing a Sims character in a video game. He was moving along just as I wanted him to. I still don’t know how Becky actually does it, because she doesn’t do the writing for you, oh no, she is the just the coach, you have to do the running to make the touchdown. Only YOU know the story and no one can tell it like YOU, she says.
Today, I sit here in front of my laptop, reading and re-reading the old mans story, trying to hear him speak to me. Trying to hear him tell me about his day, his feelings, his past…and he, once again has become silent. Now, I am certain he is just napping and will wake up soon (maybe for a Spam sandwich or some cheese and crackers), but I have now become his puppet. He directs me instead. And while I wait for him to sit up, rub the eye boogers away and tell me what he wants to do next…I share this with you.
Stay tuned and keep reading my Author Notes as I continue the journey and document my struggles and triumphs for you. I want you to be a part of this! In the meantime, what can you share with me about your writing journey?
- Blogger Profile: Poet and Author Kellie Elmore (en.blog.wordpress.com)