Living on this side of the planet has its perks. For starters, I live a day ahead of most of you lovely people who read this blog. (Email me if you want me to sneak a peek at the lottery numbers for you. 50/50 split sound good?)
We also get summer early. But don’t be too envious. In a month, we’ll be frying eggs on the pavement. Personally, I prefer using the hood of the car. Asphalt has an aftertaste. Right now, though, the weather is just PERFECT. The sun is out, the wind is cool, and the sky can’t be bluer. So to everyone who can’t wait for summer to arrive, I’ve had a sneak peek and I can tell you that it’s going to be awesome. :D
But even if I weren’t in this time zone, I find that as a writer, living in the future is a job requirement. For me, knowing how my story is going to end is essential. Give me an opening line, a last sentence, a pot of dark roast coffee and I’m set.
The middle, however, is trickier. I want to be surprised as much as the next reader. If the middle doesn’t keep me guessing while I write it, I probably won’t be motivated to finish the book. And here lies the challenge: you’ve seen the future and now you have to herd your characters towards it - without being predictable. How do you blindside yourself? The solution: play “Pocket God.”
This app allows you to creatively torment the cute inhabitants of a little island who live only to appease you. Squish them, roast them, feed them to sharks – they won’t love you any less.
When I want to keep the middle of the story interesting, I unleash my inner Pocket God on my beloved characters. I heighten conflict, steal their hearts' desire, and raise the stakes. Then I make it rain and break their umbrella. And kill their pet turtle. I’m kidding, I’m kidding. No animals were harmed in the making of Before Ever After.
But all this of course comes from a place of love. I know what the future holds and I want the way to it to be as shark-infested, er, interesting as possible. They will be richer for their experiences along their journey. After all, they know that I would never lead them to an ending other than happily ever after. Sometimes. ;-)