This post chronicles the ongoing saga of one work-from-home freelance writer determined to write her first fiction novel, while raising two rambunctious preschoolers.
My second chapter is such a treat to write because I am speaking in Mike Hayden’s mind–the chapter is his narrative.
I guess that’s kind of odd: what do I know about being a man in his mid-50’s? But, I am enjoying it. And as luck would have it, I have access to a handful of experienced “car guys” in their 50s who I’ve earmarked for future interviews.
When I completed my outline for the book I thought I was so prepared–I have notes on what happens in every chapter, so when I sat down to write the actual story, I (foolishly) thought it would “write itself.”
What I quickly discovered is that if my notes suggest Treva went to get groceries, that only opens the larger can of literary worms: was it a fast trip? do the details of what she bought matter? If I mention a particular food item, why, what relevance does it have? Does she run into someone at the grocery store, who? why? How do her food choices indicate her lifestyle as a single person–does she eat well or does she prefer snacky/microwavable stuff. Sheesh! There’s no hiding from detail, and it would be inexcusable to abandon an opportunity to delve deeper into what makes my character tick.
In Chapter 2, Mike walks into his competitor’s building to complete a weekly transaction. That should be it, right? As I had him enter the building (seeing the action from his perspective in my mind’s eye) it occurred to me all the thoughts and emotions a person has about the stuff owned by someone we envy, and I had to give his impressions, even though he’s been going there for years. This is unexpected material I never made any notes about! I’m pondering and “watching” the action play out in my imagination as much as I am typing it out; actually more imagining goes on than writing, alas.
I’ll warn you now, Mike Hayden’s no saint. But he is a good and loving man with a lot of talents who is doing his best to make choices that benefit the people he loves, although he makes some mistakes along the way.
Learn more about my novel writing process!: