I think the mail problem is fixed. So be in touch.
What I’m thinking about today as I write is attitude. Not my attitude, although it helps to have a good one. No, I’m thinking about my protagonist. I came to a slowdown in my rough draft, a place where I had written a sort of shorthand–just the facts, ma’am!–so I could more quickly go from point A to point B before I stopped for the day. Sure, the basic information was there, the same as a peeled potato is a peeled potato. But so what? Who wants a cold, uncooked. peeled potato? Even with butter or salt and pepper on it? An uncooked potato is hard, and although it may have plenty of personality in the world of potatoes, I think most of us would find it unappetizing just sitting like that on the kitchen counter. Who would want to read a story with that appeal?
I knew that section of my draft wasn’t right when I wrote it. I’d written fast so I could have the idea written down, but later, I didn’t know what to do to make it sing.
Then I thought–attitude. There’s no attitude here.
So I threw out my facts, and said, this kid needs an attitude toward what’s happening to him! I asked, what would he really say if I wasn’t trying to stick to anything I’ve already written? How would he act and react? Now he’s saying things like, no, I don’t want to, you’ve got the wrong guy. He colors the approaching sirens red and tries to get away. His personality is coming through, the writing is going better, and, coincidentally, the story reads better.
So if you’re having trouble with your story, ask yourself this. What’s the attitude? Give attitude the reins and watch the story takes it true, crooked path!
Let me know how that goes.