Author Road Trip

Writing a book is a little bit like going on an author road trip.

First, I choose my travelling companions - my characters.  Actually, since my characters' voices are usually my inspiration, sometimes it feels more like my characters choose me.

Each character is always searching for something.  Once I realize what that "something" is, my story has a direction.  It’s not always clear in the beginning, and it sometimes changes a little as I work on my first draft but that “something” that each character is searching for (what they want) is the fuel of my story and keeps the character moving forward.

Even though I’m the author of the story, my character is the one telling me where we’re going and which way we should go to get there.  I drive, but they lead the way.

Listening to my character is sometimes easy and sometimes hard.  In most stories, it’s a little bit of both.  We get off track.  Go the wrong way.  Take wrong turns, and hit construction, but if we keep going, we always manage to find the way.  This is the revision process and it can get really, hard sometimes because sometimes going the wrong way means writing a whole chapter and then finding out I made a wrong turn.  This could mean that a bunch of stuff I write never ends up in the book.  It can sometimes feel like a waste of time, but I have to keep telling myself, it’s part of the writing process, part of the road trip my characters and I are on.

In the end, my characters and I end up at our destination, but sometimes the destination is quite different from where we thought we’d end up.  But this is usually a good sign because it means my character’s journey changed them – it means the things along the way helped them grow as a person and made them able to do things and make choices that weren’t possible at the beginning of the trip.  My character Samantha in When I Hit the Road is a good example of this.  By the end of the story, she’s able to appreciate herself, her mom, and Gram in a whole new way.  A way that was not possible before she went on her road trip.

This author road trip is what makes each book I write a brand new adventure.

Happy travelling, writing, & reading,