Wednesday, September 10, 2014
For me, keeping a story interesting involves using the WWWs. These are not so much like the patterns one might find in romances but more how life is-- real life, not just fantasy plots. It is about ups and downs. It's about fate. It's about the unexpected changing everything. It's about how a high often is right before a low and vice versa. I use it in my writing, like it in what I read, and can give an example from one of my days in August.
That day, I had literally just been thinking how much I enjoy my life since my husband mostly retired. He has his projects, as I have mine, but we also have time to sit outside and sip wine while we talk about what we're doing or how the world is going.
Walking away from my editing and into the kitchen, I was having a warm, glowing moment -- not something I didn't know before but just the moment I stopped to think-- yeah, this is very good.
When literally, my husband walked in from a check of the cattle and strapped a belt and holster with a gun around his waist. Eight of the cattle were missing, and he'd seen a truck go up our road with a big cattle trailer on behind. "Who do you know up there that has cattle?" he asked as he headed back out to drive up and see what was going on.
He was gone so fast I had no chance to say anything. From a high, I went to instant fear. What if it was someone out to rustle cattle? It's not as though I don't know it happens. I thought of the value of the eight animals. That was nothing when compared to running into a potentially violent encounter.
The problem was when he drove off, we could not either one know what it actually was. The trailer could have been unrelated to our missing animals. The potential of the other possibility made me feel fear. I went outside to listen for any sounds indicating a violent encounter. Maybe ten minutes later, he was driving back down with the information that the trailer had had nothing to do with our wayward livestock, which he later found deep in the brush and hiding after breaking down the fence.
I can think of a hundred moments like that on a ranch where with big equipment and livestock, life changes instantly. It is the way though of all of life. The WWW in fiction is also life. It does make a book more exciting. It also reflects reality into fiction. The best fiction, including romances, is, after all, a reflection of life.