Friday, October 28, 2011

Give Me a Minute . . . Wouldya?

Friday, November 4th 8:25 AM (Pacific) Just for fun, I've randomly selected four names from those who have commented on this post: ANDREA, EDWINA, NICHOLE, LYN. If you'll contact me candace(at)candacecalvert(dot)com I'd like to offer you your choice of one the Mercy Hospital books. Critical Care, Disaster Status, or Code Triage. Signed and personalized as you wish, for yourself or for a gift to someone else. Just let me know. And thank you all for stopping by my blog--love seeing you here!Yesterday I was typing furiously on my newest work in progress, RESCUE TEAM ( second book in the upcoming Grace Medical series). Hubby was salmon fishing with a pal, which meant I'd have all day to work alone. Correction: it would be me and my fictional folks. It was a day that I needed to especially concentrate. You see, the story was at that delicate, pivotal point: prelude to a first kiss. Something an author wants to get just right. No broccoli on the teeth, no interruptions by whiny, needy secondary characters, no unplanned call for CPR--it could happen, I write medical drama. Anyway, things were going well. Got the destined couple past a day tour of Austin, let the heroine play a little air-guitar, fed them both some great, trendy SoCo Trailer Food (foodie-author must have yummy imaginary eats), then sent them to coffee on a deck overlooking Lake Austin. So far, so good. Then a slow dance. Even better. Got past a raccoon interruption (still better than CPR), then--at last-- they're taking a moonlit walk along the water. Banter turns from humorous to heartfelt, their eyes meet, the heroine holds her breath, and . . . I type these words:

His eyes searched hers for a moment, as if he were considering what to say.

And I sit there. Shift in my chair. Read them again. Sit there. Until the humor of it dawns on me: He's pausing . . . while I consider what he's going to say.

It struck me as so funny that I laughed out loud--and immediately Tweeted it. (This is what people must do when they work alongside only fictional people.) Characters staring at each other on the page, considering what to say. Hilarious. Profound.

Someone Tweeted back: "I'll never read those words the same way again."

Which, of course proved I'd written a cliche. But it also made me think that there are plenty of writers who do the same thing: wait for the words to come. Leave our characters mute in mid-sentence--stalled before a kiss--while we . . . consider our words . . . that will become their words.

And it made me wonder: Where (in what geographical location, what situation) do your best ideas, snappy comebacks, flashes of unexpected brilliance come? Shower? Dreams? While walking? Driving? Duct taping yourself to the desk chair, sweating it out? What works for you?

Do. Tell. I'd love to know.

Oh, and just in case you were wondering: our hero didn't say anything after all. Just kissed her. I guess he considered if he had to wait for me, it wasn't going to happen.

12 comments:

Ann Revell Street said...

When I am relaxing with my dogs and my hubby - I think it is because then I let my brain slow down...

Wilma said...

Most of mine come when I'm trying so hard to get to sleep. Always too late for a come back or I'm wishing I hadn't said anything.
Wilma

wilmamet6(at)gmail(dot).com

Andrea said...

My best ideas come either in the shower or at 2 AM when I can't sleep because my mind is running full speed...I'm not a writer but those are when I solve my teaching dilemmas or family dilemmas. ;) I'm also good at regretting speaking without thinking!!

Edwina said...

My best ideas come when I'm away from my computer and have no paper, no pen, nothing to get the idea down before it permanently leaves my mind!

Rel said...

Yep, it's the shower for me. Although with water restrictions I have to think quick these days ;-D

Anonymous said...

My best ideas usually come when I am in the shower or trying to fall asleep.
Beth Gillihan
rbgillihan@gmail.com

Richard Mabry said...

When do my best ideas come? When it's too late. Reminds me of the old poem:
Backward, turn backward oh time in thy flight.
I thought of a come-back I needed last night.

Nichole said...

My eureka moments occur when staring out the passenger side window or drying dishes.

Angie B said...

As awkward as this is I'd have to say on the toilet, which, all things considered, is about as useless as 2 in the morning or in the shower. No pen, no paper, and (hopefully) no one around to share it with.

lynparker8 said...

Well, I have to admit, I can't even WRITE a word unless I am wearing my ever-inspiring pajama pants! My ideas often come in my dreams as I play out the scene like a screenplay. I keep a spiral notebook by my bed so when I wake up I can jot down what I saw before the scene leaves my memory...and for the record, I really dislike when the scene is playing out nicely and I wake up and it fades away to a place I cannot venture to rewind the very essence of it at all...

CandaceCalvert said...

Thank you all for your comments!
Just for fun, I did a random drawing of your names--picked for. Those folks may each choose one my Mercy Hospital books. I'll sign, personalize and send it your way: Those lucky folks are Andrea, Edwina, Nichole and Lyn!

Debs Desk said...

How sweet of you Candace. Congrats to the winners.
Debbie