Let’s take a leisurely stroll on the 1400 block of Patterson Street. This is a key setting within my current work in progress, a story I’m shaping into a fictional novel of the literary or inspirational fiction genres.
I know what you’re thinking—what gives? The west side of the street is vanishing into a dense white fog. And everything to the east is void of all texture and warmth, not unlike a two-dimensional drawing within a child’s coloring book. Did I fail to mention this entire project is an early work in progress?
How about we sit on the bench I just positioned behind us while you were staring across the street? With a snap of my fingers—snap—I add an elegant patina finish to the wrought iron legs. With a wave of my hand—swish—you see several slathers of shiny green protective enamel on the wooden seat and backrest. And finally, with a wink of my eye—wink—I add dabs of scuffs and scraps to give the bench an overall weathered appearance. There, that’s better. Don’t you just love the power of the author? Hey wait—who carved the word “Icy” into the seat when I wasn’t looking?
If you’ve read any books on the craft of writing, then you’ve probably run across quotes from published authors who talk of story concepts that haunt them for years. For me, this is one of those stories.
The inkling of this tale began back in 2009 when it was originally fleshed-out as part of a stage play. In fact, I originally planned for the entire action of the story to take place on this very bench we’re sitting on now. But, as I—
Now this is very interesting. Do you see that fellow over there, brown hair, the one in his mid-twenties walking toward that blue sedan? That’s Jim, the protagonist of this story. He’s had several unfortunate events happen to him over the past year. People who were at one time important to him are no longer in his life. He’s about to take some fairly drastic actions, most of which are uncharacteristic of him. On top of that, there’s something he doesn’t want to see happen over on that property across the street. He’s gone now; vanished into the fog.
Where was I? Oh yes, back to how this project originally took shape. As the characters came to life on the page in the form of a stage play, it became clear that this story wanted to be told in bigger, bolder details than a stage play would allow. The story wanted to be told in novel format.
Knowing this project would not be easy, and me not quite ready to tackle such a large project, the nuances and complexities of the story simmered in my head for two years until this past August when I started spending a few hours each Saturday morning writing outlines and fleshing out character descriptions. This past December, when I felt I had enough of the high-level planning complete and I was ready to get started writing, I did just that and finished a draft of chapter 1.
As you can see, there’s a lot of work to be done here on Patterson Street to make this story of Jim a visual one. As I continue to post to the Write Anything website in 2012, I will be sure to reconvene with you to tell you more of my progress on this project. For now, I’ll leave you to enjoy the bench as I myself now vanish into the fog.