The Story in Your Head
By Natalie Bright
A librarian asked me, “Does the story you’re working on ever leave your head?”
As writers, you know the answer. And what most people don’t realize, it’s not just our current work in progress. A multitude of characters, settings, snippets of dialogue are all scrambling for attention in our brains. Which explains why we have no down time in this crazy job of writing.
In a previous blog, Crazy Daze, I mentioned how the month of May has always zapped me of my writing time. The month flew by with hardly any moment for me to sit with hands on the keyboard. That doesn’t mean I left my story behind.
Although I wasn’t actually generating new words, my mind has been totally occupied with the current WIP. It’s another western, so in the late night hours I’ve been reading Elmer Kelton, watching old movies and those black and white series like The Virginian. And I’ve rediscovered Dr. Quinn reruns. All of this got me to thinking about one of my main characters, Roving Wolf.
Roving Wolf is a Comanche brave and I decided that he needs to break the stereotypical image of Indians portrayed in the western genre. In the old movies, Native Americans were so serious and always picking on the innocent white man. On occasion the viewer might learn of their motives and their true lifestyle, but rarely. I want my character to break the mold. I’ve decided to make him the rowdy and funny one. I’m thinking the white guy is not so innocent in this story and Roving Wolf turns out to be the hero.
As Roving Wolf grew larger than life inside my head, I finally found time to write and he came storming into the story just like I knew he would. The first thing he did was shoot my other main character with an arrow. I can hardly wait to find out what he does next.
Writing is torture, and on somedays, it’s the most fun you’ll ever have. I love this job.