Spring has finally arrived - officially. The Spring or Vernal Equinox occured this year on Saturday, March 20.
And this morning it's 34 degrees here in San Antonio.
For those of you in the north and in the mountains, I know that's not bad. But for South Texans, it's a little chilly. It's especially a little chilly when it's supposed to be maybe 50-something in the mornings this time of year.
So I'm sitting here drinking a cup of coffee on this sunny, but cold, morning and wondering how in the world I'm going to relate this to writing. And it dawned on me.
This is just the kind of thing our characters face. Or should. At least every once in a while.
"What do you mean he's not here? He's always here on Mondays."
"That bus sideswiped my van! How am I going to deliver all these flowers?"
"Look! That man has a gun!"
It's the element of surprise.
Sometimes you can pre-plan and program these in. Sometimes that's not an option.
When you're writing that first draft, sometimes an area feels plodding or stale. Or maybe you've stared at the screen for an hour and nothing works.
Try a surprise.
It's the Dreaded Middle of your story. Maude is on her way to choir practice. She's picking up Edna, Bessie, and Cora. How dull. The next plot point happens at choir practice, but you can't just open with Maude there because she and the "girls" have things to share with the reader before the plot point.
Maude has a blowout. Bessie has chest pains. Edna, the organist, slams the door on her hand. Cora, bless her heart, forgot her purse. When they go back, someone is breaking into her house.
You might have a different or better plot twist. You might have a small obstacle. Or you might delete everything you've written.
It doesn't matter.
What happens is it gets you more involved with your characters. You see them in a new light. You learn how they deal with problems or catastrophies.
It perks up your writing.
I'm perking up, too. I've consumed a little caffeine and the sun has warmed us up to 45.
It's going to be a good week.