Water on the brain
Water comes in three forms: solid, liquid and gas. As a writer I can go through all three states within minutes as I stare at my computer trying to create a complete sentence.
Not just any sentence. One that might inspire or evoke an emotional response. A whole string of them to produce a story with the punch of James Patterson or the sweet journey of Nicholas Sparks.
Instead, I turn up using the analogy of water. First I come up with a solid idea. Cozy mystery perhaps. I list characters and their foibles. Take Daisy McFarland, the protagonist in my next novella, for example. A mousey spinster with a huge cat named Pillow; Daisy is a retired American schoolteacher who moves to England to fulfill a dream of becoming the next J.K. Rowling. Interested in reading more of her story? Me too.
My idea quickly turns from a solid form to liquid as I continue to write. It’s amazing how concrete thoughts can melt into nothingness within minutes. It’s the plight of all writers, I suppose. What I long for is a broken dam of words that rush into my head and land on the laptop. Ideas that pour through with eloquence and beauty. Instead? A trickle. A drip. One measly letter at a time.
Pretty soon it’s obvious that my watery brain has sprung a leak, and the solid story turns into a liquid that quickly becomes a gaseous form with no substance.
I don’t want to discourage any would-be writers out there. I have spoken to many of you and don’t want to dash your dreams into a puff of smoke.
What I want to do is open your eyes to the reality of what you are about to embark. Worlds created that don’t exist other than in your mind. People and places that take shape and come alive as your fingertips touch a keyboard. It’s wonderful, but more often than not it consists of a faucet-leaking, gas-empty place in which we dwell.
Bottom line. I want give you some food for thought, or better yet, some water to quench your thirst for words. It will eventually happen.