Why, Oh Why?
Don’t Be Afraid of the Journey
By Natalie Bright
A feisty eleven-year-old by the name of Silver Belle consumes my thoughts. She lives in 1887 Texas in the fictitious frontier town of Justice, Texas.
She’s the main character in my western middle grade novel, and she’s so demanding. Thoughts of her adventures interrupt me without notice, day and night. Several weeks ago, for example, I realized her grandmother does not like her.
WHY is there conflict between Silver Belle and her grandmother? WHY must Silver Belle explore her Mexican heritage by visiting a sheepherders plazita in the Texas Panhandle? WHY can’t their issues be resolved and does this story end well?
I have no idea as to the answers to any of those questions, but I do know for a fact, just as true and real as this blog I’m writing, that Silver Belle’s grandmother refuses to acknowledge her own granddaughter’s existence.
The journey as a writer is in finding out the WHY.
At this point, I have total sympathy and a better understanding as to WHY Hemingway began drinking every day at noon.