Monday, May 23, 2011

The Big Picture

I like to think of the big picture as a panoramic view. You see the important elements without the details. Big picture people include entrepreneurial types and visionaries.

Ah, there's that word again: vision. You can see this great idea in your head, but how can you make it a reality?

To my way of thinking, writing is a three-fold endeavor:

1) Vision - the great idea. You're not thinking about how you'll communicate it, but you are totally captivated.

2) Planning - think of a blueprint. We'll discuss this more next Monday.

3) Execution - This is where it all comes together. You sit down at the computer, open a document, and WRITE!

My own experience with the big picture" came in Gettysburg, PA back in 2004. An old-fashioned town square screamed, "history." I stood there awed by the view, and I "heard" the voices of the forefathers like distant echoes, fading away into nothingness.

That night, I went home and tried to write a poem. Uh, no. That didn't work. Maybe an article would be a good vehicle to communicate the vision. More frustration. Finally, I prayed. "Lord, if You want me to do something with this, You'll have to show me."

I'll never forget the fateful day in August 2005, nearly eight months later, when my husband and I were discussing, "The Gettysburg Experience." He startled me with the declaration, "That's it! That's your book, and it will be called 'Ghosts of the Past.' You'll have it done in four months."

I thought he was crazy and said so. As we talked, I saw what he meant. The next day, I sat at the computer with no idea how to proceed. In four months, I had 55,000 words and a story called, "Echoes of the Past," burning in my heart.

To be continued...

Some authors talk about reading a news story or getting an idea out of the blue. How was your story conceived? What was your "Big Picture" moment?

26 comments:

Linda O'Connell said...

Susan,
Your story on how you wrote your story is inspiring. I am a people watcher. If I think about an idea too much, my mind gets in the way; if I let it happen it usually does.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Linda -

Most of my ideas find me as well. I understand how the mind can get in the way when it comes to vision. I have a tendency to overthink a subject.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Wendy Paine Miller said...

It's so cool to think about how my stories were born. It almost feels like a womb nuturing experience, having the ideas grow inside me for months and start as such small seeds.

I like your vision, planning, execution points.
~ Wendy

Marja said...

That's a great story Susan, how awesome to be inspired like that. Thanks for sharing.

Karen Lange said...

I love how we, as writers, gain our inspiration. Sometimes they track us down and hound us until we use them. Looking forward to seeing your story published!

Blessings,
Karen
P.S. Well, actually, ALL of your stories...:)

Rhonda Schrock said...

Wow, Susan! It sounds like your husband was a wonderful cheerleader. What a gift he must have been. I love this.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Wendy -

I believe all great ideas come in seed form and must be nurtured. I'll never forget that initial experience that brought this story into being.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Marja -

I haven't shared very much about this experience, but felt it was time.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen -

Thanks! I thought this would be one book, but it's blossomed into a trilogy. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rhonda -

I truly believe if it wasn't for his support and encouragement I wouldn't be writing for publication. He was a wonderful husband and man of God.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Sarah Forgrave said...

Wow, cool story, Susan! I love how when the right idea bowls us over, the words just flow. That's the best feeling, isn't it?

Ryan and Melanie said...

So neat to hear of your story, Susan. I love how God births ideas in our hearts and mind.

-Mel

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sarah -

This idea sure grabbed me and wouldn't let go! Until the Lord showed me what to do with it, it nearly drove me crazy.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Melanie -

I'd love to hear your story. :)

Blessings,
Susan

Tyrean Martinson said...

Sounds like a great experience. I love the big picture when I start writing, and have often found that if I keep it in front of me, I can get to the finish line. If I let the big picture get covered over in a pile of papers and subplots, I get lost and can't finish. Looking forward to hearing more of your story.

sarah said...

yours is the second post I've read this morning that mentioned praying before writing. I forget but when I do....everything just flows....Happy writing.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Tyrean -

You make a great point! The big picture (vision) is what keeps you on track and motivated.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sarah -

Without prayer, writing becomes a struggle for me. The Lord is the author of all creativity. When I cooperate with Him, my work is so much easier.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jaime Wright said...

I don't know if I've had a 'big picture' moment - but surely little inspirations can compile one big one, right? :)

Nancy said...

Ooo, can't wait for the next installment.

One story I did because I loved the genre, the next because I thought it would be easy, next because I wanted to share my memories in fiction, and the last because if hadn't been done and I wanted to do it.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jaime -

The word that comes to mind is, "mosaic." Individual pieces all fit together to form a pattern.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Nancy -

Good. I guess my cliffhanger skills are improving. :)

Were you able to stay motivated with these reasons? It takes a lot to sustain interest when you're writing a book.

Blessings,
Susan

Nancy said...

Yes, I managed to finish all of the children's novels. I doubt if I would have the indurance for the longer adult novel, however.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Nancy -

I hear you. 80,000-100,000 words is a marathon.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Sandra Heska King said...

Cool! Looking forward to part 2!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sandra -

You won't have to wait long - Monday, 5/30. :)

Blessings,
Susan