Monday, April 9, 2012

We Have Ignition!

Get to know me, and you'll soon discover my knowledge of all things mechanical borders on non-existent. My car is a prime example. Put gas in the tank, turn on the ignition, and leave the rest to a professional; that's my motto.

I'm embarrassed to say that sometimes I don't even get those simple things right and need a refresher course. Mind you, I've owned my vehicle more than a decade. Yet, starting my chariot can become problematic when I least expect it. I've called AAA and been towed, only to have my mechanic (Hi Mike!) scratch his head and say nothing is wrong.

This happened again recently. Desperate, I went to the Lord. What am I doing wrong here? Why won't this crazy car start for me? It even starts for my mother, but sputters out the minute I try. A scripture popped into my head at that moment. Don't ask me where it is because I'm not sure. It's something to the effect, "If a trumpeter gives an uncertain sound, who will go to war?"

I must have heard wrong. I examined those words from every angle in my head, and it finally clicked. When I was turning the key, I wasn't do so with confidence. My hesitation resulted in the car not responding as it should.

While this is all interesting (at least to me), I'm sure you're wondering what on earth this has to do with writing anything much less a book. Hmm, have you ever sat at the computer and just stared at the screen? I doubt if there's a writer alive, who hasn't experienced this. And what about all those times when you began The Great American Novel (or substitute your country if you're not from here) only to run out of steam?

I've got the answer! Write with confidence. Put those words on the computer or paper with wild abandon. Don't be hesitant in your writing, but write from your heart. They WILL need lots of revisions, but you'll get the basic idea out there where you can see it.

Is this a totally new concept to me? Not. But, like my car, I need a reminder every now and then to get my fingers flying across the keyboard.

Writers: How about you? What little tricks have you discovered to keep your story engine purring?

Readers: Can you tell when the author is "in the groove?" What does that do for you as a reader?


Wendy Paine Miller said...

I most certainly can tell as a reader when an author is in the groove. The story reads fluidly. Those are the "I can't put it down" books.
~ Wendy

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan .. great analogy .. glad you've got the new car though - confidence comes with time ..

Writing - sometimes it just flows - I don't often write 'freehand' as such, as I'm 'researching' (I think looking up is probably more true to the action!) my posts ..

Cheers for now .. Hilary

Loree Huebner said...

I agree with Wendy. When an author is in the groove, you can't put down the book.

Sarah Forgrave said...

When I'm stuck, I like to go back and read the previous scene. It almost always gets my synapses firing again. :)

Karen Lange said...

I keep writing when I get stuck or lose confidence. Even writing something totally different is helpful. Sort of like getting back up on that horse...:)


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Wendy - Yes, they draw you in and never let go.

Hi Hilary - My car is 12 years old and going strong. :)

Hi Loree - I love those kind of books. They're the ones that stay with me long after I've finished.

Hi Sarah - I also spend time thinking about where I want to go with the story. As a SOTP writer, it helps me formulate my next scene.

Hi Karen - Good analogy! Wish I'd thought of that. :)


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Denise -

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

Susan :)

Jean Fischer said...

I keep my story engine purring by taking a break to read or to people watch. Often I'm inspired by both. Good luck with your car, Susan. Maybe you need to give it a powerful name? :-)


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jean -

LOL! I don't usually name my cars, but it's a thought. I do think of it as a "she."

Susan :)