Monday, February 23, 2009
D IS FOR DANGER
It's a strange thing writing a book. We create characters we grow to really love, and sometimes that makes it hard for us to do all the terrible things to them that we really must do if the story is going to work.
There must always be something at stake. And it must be something BIG, like life or death. As difficult as it is, we must put our characters in serious danger, so that the reader cares enough to see what happens next. And it's through this sort of danger that our characters evolve and overcome (or not) the awful circumstances that we, the evil awful author has thrust them into.
In my book LEAVING GEE'S BEND, the main character sets off for Camden to fetch the doctor for her deathly-ill mother. Only she's never been out of Gee's Bend before. And the only way out of Gee's Bend is by ferry. And there's been a storm, so the river is swollen. And the ferry operator is no where to be found. And when she boards the ferry, it busts loose, sending her crashing down the river. And she can't swim. And...
See? DANGER. :)
"There is no frigate like a book to take us lands away..."
- Emily Dickinson
*photo by Marion Post Wolcott, FSA, Gee's Bend, 1939