When you’re writing a novel, there’s a blurry line between fiction and reality. I infuse my story with aspects of places and characters I have known. My heroine has characteristics I possess or wish I possessed.
Some of my best plotting comes while I work out. I have a playlist of songs on my Zune I’ve chosen to help get me in the right mood to write and I listen to it and get pumped up, brainstorming ideas and visualizing scenes I plan to incorporate in later chapters.
This week I was out walking with Wanda in the stroller when I noticed a man walking ahead of me wearing a backpack. He seemed out of place in our neighborhood and I felt a strange vibe coming from him. He was going the way we were going but he was walking slightly slower than me. He kept stealing glances behind him, keeping me on his radar. He was slowing down and I was gaining on him. Was he letting me gain on him?
In a psychotic fit of imagination, I thought, “If he tries to pull anything funny when I pass him, he will be so surprised by the beat-down I will give him.” In my mind, I planned out the fight scene and just how thoroughly I would shut him down.
I continued on my way, getting closer, still feeling a strange vibe that something was going to go down when I caught up to him, still imagining how I would triumph.
About 30 feet from him, I had the sudden realization that I was not a character in my book, that I was a very real 32-year-old woman with a baby in a stroller and almost zero martial arts training. This realization was disappointing. I turned down a side street to avoid the confrontation.
Yeah. Maybe plotting should only be done when walking in a controlled environment.
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