The origins of my new project came from a painting–a girl with auburn hair walking away from the painter on a bustling city street. I had that painting over my desk and I would think of who she was, not personally, I didn’t want to track her down, contact the artist and ask for a name. But as a writer, I was intrigued by her. So I had found my muse and by starting where she was last seen, in this painting, she began telling me her story.
The words just seemed to be there, the dialogue, and the narrative, leading me, the story guiding me rather than me guiding the story until I had written 70 pages, over 32000 words.
I stopped there. It was at this point that I began writing the story, instead of allowing the story to speak to me, and I had to stop because it just didn’t feel right. My ideas would have worked, I could have made them because I am in some respects the omnipotent creator, but that isn’t free will, that’s not autonomy. So I stopped writing and began editing. And somewhere while in the process of editing, it happened and all the pieces began coming together.
This is important to understand because I know many writers’ hit walls, and they become frustrated and aggravated, and either decide to give up, or maybe attempt to break down the walls, and push the story into gear, grinding them if need be to make it move forward, and maybe this works for some, but for me personally, it’s best to wait. And be patient and be thoughtful, respectful even. Let the characters speak and have free will. It is their story–or in this case hers.