Know thy story

I had an inspiring conversation with June P. Diehl yesterday evening. I signed up for her year-long fantasy class on SavvyAuthors a few days ago. My main concern about The Seed Pearl is how little of it I seem to know. At the same time, it’s the reason I joined her class: to develop my story into a complete first draft. Basically, I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough to start writing in four weeks; knowing I primarily process everything “unconsciously,” once I have an idea, and that I cannot force the story’s development with outlining or other structures until it’s ready to come out. June told me to trust my process and simply to write, every day in the knowledge that the story is being worked out somewhere in the back of my mind and will appear when it’s ready. I don’t have to write specifically about the story to meet my word count. Writing is writing, she said.

June gave me three specific ideas to work with.

First, she told I had more than a “seed of an idea,” which is how I initially described what I have so far. So her suggestion was to write from each character’s point of view, in first person. As soon as she said this, all sorts of ideas came flooding into my consciousness from the different characters. Immediately following our call, I wrote about 600 words in the first person voice of my main character and also drafted the beginning of a synopsis. I was surprised to discover she loves horses and has a horse called Silver (I have never ridden in my life and have a certain fear of being close up to horses, though I love to look at them in photographs).

The second suggestion was to ask my character (any one of my characters), right before I fall asleep each night to talk to me in my dreams. Well, I don’t recall dreaming about any of my characters last night, but I do remember my last dream before waking up was receiving word that a property which had belonged to my mother had sold. Which meant I could move on with my life and buy a small house for myself. I don’t know if this had anything to do with my story but it did put me in a positive frame of mind, on waking up.

The final suggestion, because I said I don’t normally remember my dreams these days, was to put myself into a meditative state and invite my characters to come in and speak with me.

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