Today, as I do on occasion, I looked to the calendar for writing inspiration. I don’t know whether a lot of other writers do that or not, but it has helped me many times. Today it was simply for a Facebook post—and the calendar reminded me that one of my characters has her birthday around now. But while I was writing Hunter’s Moon, I found myself checking the calendar frequently, for plot reasons.
I can be very childlike sometimes. Then again, I am also an old soul. (Completely confusing, I know! To myself too. Just go look at some INFJ memes on Pinterest for more on that.) My mom has told me a few times that I should write children's books. As in, "baby" level. Well, I have a couple of very undeveloped ideas but never quite work up enough interest to write at that level. I naturally gravitate toward reading longer books and prefer to write them too. I get so absorbed and enthralled in a good story, I don't want it to end! I crave series and sequels!
Stephen King’s book On Writing contains, among other helpful pieces of advice, this gem: Kill your darlings.* Sounds very King-esque, right? What he means is that you need to chop out scenes or sentences or paragraphs that you are especially proud of but that don’t advance the plot or help the book in any way.
Some months ago, while I was on a Madeleine L’Engle reading (and re-reading) kick, I came across a fascinating quote about fiction. Two of L’Engle’s granddaughters wrote an Introduction that is printed in newer editions of the Austin family books. Here’s the part of their intro that resonated with me, and that I’ve been ruminating on:
I’m a huge fan of fantasy. I grew up on J.R.R. Tolkien books—first, The Hobbit in seventh grade English class, which I adored (the book, the class, and the teacher). As soon as we finished that unit, I grabbed my mom’s copy of The Fellowship of the Ring and quickly devoured it. Then I gobbled up the other two books in the trilogy, racing my friend, à la Legolas and Gimli, and beating her by a few days.* By eighth grade, I was perusing The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales behind my textbook in algebra class. (That teacher was another favorite. . . . I wonder if he knew/cared what I was really reading, since I was making an A.)
Sarah Awa lives in Ohio with two hairy guys and writes books about werewolves.