I had a brilliant thought this morning concerning a missing zinger for the novel I'm working on. (I borrowed that "zinger" part from my friend Kristen who just so happens to be celebrating a birthday today...Happy Birthday!). I LOVE this book I am writing. I LOVE the characters, I LOVE where it's going...but, it needed a pop; that bit of the unexpected. There has been so much intensity from point A to point B. I didn't want to lose that for those who will read it as I head to point C. And I GOT IT! I won't tell you where I was when I got it. Okay, I will.....in the bathroom. That is the best place ever because, even if I'm not doing anything in there, I can shut the door and no one bothers me until I come out!!! I ALWAYS take my notebook with me to the bathroom :) Keep in mind I'm the mother of 4 children, with 2 cats, 2 dogs, and a husband. There's no such thing as privacy here!
Anyway, I can't share what "IT" is yet but hopefully your mind is flowing and you're beginning to wonder, especially if you have read the first part on my website (LindaBoulanger.com under Preview Page). Just know it's going to be worth the wait and then you'll be unable to put it down :) It's a hibernation book: find a comfy place and don't come out until you're done.
When I first got the idea for this book, A Marriage of Necessity, I was concerned because it's kind of a book about an arranged marriage. They didn't marry for love. In fact, they met for the first time and agreed to get married within a 30 minute time span, I would say. I loved the idea and the possibilities that began to spin in my head, but I wondered how I could make something that had been done before different enough to make people want to read it. In reality, and we've talked about this before, everything has been done before. Think about the books you've read and the movies you've seen. How many tackle something that's completely different?
When I reconnected with my friend and co-writer, Patrick Sipperly, he was very much in the throws of writing a screenplay. It's a great screenplay, by-the-way, and I have faith he will pitch it and it will get picked up and you'll get to enjoy it on the screen someday. I was blessed with a pre-read as well as a great lesson as Pat pointed me in the direction of a book by Blake Snyder called Save The Cat! This book deals with screenplay writing, however, I read it and found so very much of it pertains to novel writing as well. Blake devotes a whole chapter, 26 pages, to giving a twist to the same old theme. According to Blake, you can run right up to the same old same old but then you'd better give them something just a bit different. I've kept that in mind with everything I've written and tried to put that fresh spin on things. Not always easy when one is in the thick of inspired writing. Oftentimes, just as it happened today, I will be writing only to get that spark (perhaps the truly inspired part?) and know I've got IT!, that one bit that will make it the same only different.
So keep in mind that everything old can be made new again with the proper twist. Our job as writers is to create that tension and add the turns that will keep our readers interested all the way from A to C including the coast through B. Once this book is finished I'll expect feedback as to whether I've managed to accomplish that very thing. Not intending to be cocky here but I'm feeling pretty good about my success rate on this one :)