Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Finding Passion in Prose (or in any area of life)


First the fun part of writing: I love getting to know my characters and continue to be amazed at how the mind and heart works in creation. An idea blossoms. It takes on a life of its own, and characters are born. Their natures and personalities develop and mature with each revision as well as the crises they face and attempt to overcome.

Soon, in the mind's eye, the characters become flesh and blood. Through the writer's pen (or pecking at the computer keyboard), the hero or heroine find his or her way through a maze of difficulties. This is exciting part of writing.

The ‘not so much fun’ of writing: The height of frustration for me as a historical fiction writer is not being able to find accurate research when I need it for a story I’m working on. Everything characters say and do must be accurate to the story’s time period and culture, if the story is to be believable. How they prepare a meal, travel, occupy their time, as well as all social, political, and religious interactions must adhere to the setting and time period. These details can mean pain-staking research for a writer and, I admit, headaches and pain in the seating area of the body as well!

Writers want readers to be transported into their fictional worlds and remain there throughout the characters’ trials and tribulations. One anachronism glaring out at readers can pull them right out of the story. For example, I remember using the word garage in one of my nineteenth century novels. My editor immediately questioned it. After checking its etymology in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, I found the word didn’t come into common use until 1902. Oops, garage became a carriage house.

Over the past week, working on my newest manuscript, I’ve spent exhausting hours researching mid nineteenth century schooling, pre-Civil War activism, and an 1850 cookbook for a gingerbread recipe. Yes, time consuming! I really wish information I need would be at my fingertips, instead of lost in a myriad of books and online sources, but accurate detail is necessary.

Why spend so many frustrating hours? Because it’s called passion! Passion, a very difficult word to define, that truly gets to the core of what it feels like within us. The Free Dictionary calls it “bountiful enthusiasm”. Cambridge Dictionary, “extreme interest, powerful feelings.” None of these definitions truly nail it, as far as I’m concerned.

A good story will hold a reader's attention until the end and that’s what I work towards. I constantly try to improve my craft with each book, no different than anyone who has a career or hobby in their area of passion.  I want my readers to feel my characters' emotions and be transported into their worlds, turning page after page, unable to put the book down. Yes, that’s what all writers hope for as they persevere with each book.

 I admit, even if I didn’t publish a single work, I would still be writing because when you have a passion, you need to honor it. God gives each of us a gift for us to find and develop. When we do, I believe we connect with the mysteries of the mind, heart, and soul that makes our inner voice, exclaim, WOW! WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?

And at those moments, I think, God winks!

Blessings, Elaine

Learn more about my books at   
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008H5NKQQ


Comments Welcomed!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Update


I am happy to announce that all my books are now available in both print and eBook.  Meanwhile, I’m busy working on a sequel to my recent release, The Diary of Narcissa Dunn. Two other manuscripts sit on my computer, waiting...
I can feel the anxiety of the main characters in those two books.

“When are you going to solve my problems?” says one.

“I’m waiting for my Prince Charming.  He’ll never notice me, if you don’t write my story,” says another.

“Please, get me out of the mess you have left me in!” cries another.

As I work on the second book in the Redemption Series, these other characters seldom give me rest. Oh, the life of a writer. So many stories in my head, too little time to write, and once the stories are written, hours and hours of editing. 
Yet, creating stories has been my passion since I was old enough to understand that imagination is a wonderful thing. It has taken me on fantastic and passionate journeys. I just can’t keep them to myself! And so, I write, even if no one ever read my books. I would still write. My guess is there are other writers who understand my passion and would agree!