Anatomy of a story Part 6: High gear

And that’s all it took. Having gotten stuck plenty of times, I’ve learned the best option is to sit on things and let them churn. Solutions present themselves if you give it a little bit of time and space.

The sad part: I scrapped several pages and only kept the core beginning and just a few sentences from the previous draft. But that didn’t matter because now I had a path. And I felt that excitement again. That “Oh yeah, here we go,” moment when you know you’ve got a story.

The details started working themselves out as I wrote. Instead of seeing a monster, the murmuration of starlings started talking to Cassie and telling her things, and things that affect her family.

At first Allen and Tom roll with it, but as the story escalates, they both get unsettled and weirded out because a seven-year-old just shouldn’t be able to come up with those kinds of things.

And this is where Allen’s Adel gets involved. Turns out she’s into horror and mythology and all kinds of paranormal things. She knows a bit about watching for signs and omens and leads Allen to the ancient Romans….

Mind you, all of this crashes down on me like a tidal wave. All these ideas hit at the same moment during an evening and I spend the entirety of it writing as fast as I can and watching the clock because I have to get up and go to work the next day. I write as much as I can and make key notes underneath the title for the next day.

I know a story is on the right path when it starts coming fast like a flash flood. It’s like everything comes together; the engine clicks over and jumps into drive with the accelerator to the floor.

It’s a great feeling even though I have to pay attention and stay on it!