Friday, May 14, 2010

All in my control

Happy Friday!

On Saturday, we are supposed to go on a boy scout campout. So, of course, it is absolutely throwing down the rain here in San Antonio. Serious rain. Like 4 inches in the past two hours and now many of the roads in our area are flooded and impassable. I am SO not sleeping in a tent on the ground tomorrow night.

A few days ago, I sent off part one of the serial I am writing on spec for a British woman's magazine. I heard back from the fiction editor saying that she and the editor-in-chief loved it. They enjoyed it so much in fact, that they asked if I could make it four parts, instead of three. I, of course, said YES! And then went back to my synopsis and said hmmmm...

The trick with serials is that each part must end on a cliffhanger note. After all, you've got to hook the reader enough to make them remember your story and want to shell out the cover price next week and the week after to see what happens. So making my story a four-parter is not just about expanding the story, but doing it in a way that gives a new cliff hanger at the right time (3800 words per part).

As I sat at my computer trying to figure out where the story could go, I found smiling. What was that feeling creeping over me? I barely recognized it. In my six months of revision, I hadn't experienced it in a while. And then I remembered -- it was that gleeful, god-like feeling of creating a world, characters, breathing life into them, making them do what I want them to do, putting them in horrible or wonderful situations and seeing how they deal with it.

Writers are given a special gift -- the ability to control things. In a corporate time management workshop I attended years ago, we were told "You can control everything except for two things: time and other people." As a writer, I get to control just that.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some lives to play with.

And you? Do you get that feeling of power when you write?

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