I’ve informed my family they won’t be seeing much of me for the next few months.
Why, you ask?
I’m diving into my second novel. Which is due to my publisher, Howard Books, in May. Yep. Four months from now.
No. I am not panicking.
My editor approved the synopsis for my next inspirational contemporary romance — but not without asking some questions first.
And so I explained why I changed up a character. Why I inserted a particular subplot — and wanted to keep it. Why a character’s problem was real — in a fictional sort of way, of course — not a ploy to push another character away.
And I also explained why, oh why, I wanted to write this novel.
As you read this post, are you getting a hint of my (least) favorite word?
Go ahead. Ask me why.
I will be wrestling the word “Why” into submission (and, yes, there’s a pun there) as I write my work-in-progress (WIP). I’ve answered my editor’s first round of whys — but it won’t be the last round of whys.
I’m going to barrage my main characters with whys. It’s the only way to peel back the shallow layer of a hero or heroine and discover their hidden depths.
As one of my mentors, best-selling author Susan May Warren, says in her writing book The Book Buddy: You ask your character who are you? How would you identify yourself? (Keep asking “Why?” until you get to their motivations and values.)
So why is “why” my (least) favorite word? I know the value of asking why. But sometimes I don’t ask why enough. I settle for the surface answer. I dig into my character … sort of.
But I have another mentor. Award-winning author Rachel Hauck, aka Madame Mentor. She refuses to let me be a shallow writer. One time she asked me a series of whys about my hero. My answer: Because. Because I need such-and-such to happen in the story.
Not the right answer.
And so I was handed a figurative shovel and told to dig. And the way to do that is with the word why. And, yes, ultimately I was glad I took the time and effort to ask why, why, why. I understood my character much, much better when I was done.
In Your Words: I’ve told you my least favorite word. Do you have one? OK, that may be a loaded question. Why is it your least favorite word? (My husband said to ask that!) And here’s a another just-for-fun question: Read any good books lately?