Friday, May 27, 2005

How I Got Here, Part 61

Quick housekeeping note. I will be taking Monday, Memorial Day, off. See y’all back here Tuesday the 31st. Don’t leave me hangin’ here all alone, now.

I’m very glad to see that some of you BGs are going to be at the ACFW conference. Evelyn—a choice between some conference in Oregon and ACFW is no contest. Don’t let my good buddy Jim Bell keep you away from ACFW. He’s an ex-lawyer for heaven’s sake, shouldn’t that tell you something? Besides, next year he’s keynoter at ACFW, so you can have both.

Ron—love your “spider-typing” idea for our BG signal. That’s a creeper. I mean keeper.

Jennifer, I am very glad to hear that previous posts here helped you. Keep writing, and keep praying! And Cindy, thank you for praying for me. Believe me, I need it.

ValMarie and the rest of you—info on Web of Lies, plus the cover, is now on my Web site. You can read the back cover copy and my note to readers that appears at the front of the book. As the time approaches for release, I’ll post the prologue.

Speaking of Web of Lies, that’s where we left off yesterday.

So I had meself a title. And I had meself bits of ideas. Most of all, I had meself a deadline.

Okay, here goes the incredibly brilliant and scientific creativity, point by miraculous point.

I thought, Hm, “web” is in the title.

And I thought, Hm, I need another scary book.

What kind of metaphorical “web of lies” can I come up with that’s scary?

After much thinking on this, I yielded a big, fat nothing.

But wait . . .

A literal web means spiders.

Spiders can be scary.

A light bulb went off in my head. I know! I shall write meself a book about spiders!

Bada-boom, bada bing!

I basked in the glory of my immense creativity for a time. Until my brain started thinking again. Which usually means trouble.

Okay, so who would have the spiders? Not the protagonist.

No, silly. Definitely the bad guy.

Spiders aren’t scary in terrariums.

No, but they’d be scary if people are threatened with ’em. ’Specially if they’re big, bad poisonous spiders.

Oooh, I know. I could put ’em in a room.

That would have to be one crazy bad guy.

Hey, crazies are the funnest! (Don't tell my mother.)

So how 'bout this? Chelsea has her vision. It’s a vision about a room of spiders. With people in it.

Ooooh, gimme the willies.

Wait a minute. Which people?

I don’t know.

Shoot. Knew I’d hit a snag sooner or later. And besides that, what does a skull have to do with spiders? And also, how do I get Chelsea and Annie together when they don’t even live in the same town?


Meanwhile, during all this—time ticketh toward the deadlineth.

This idiocy aside, I was also thinking a lot about the spiritual thread. That’s as uncommon for me as backing into a story, because usually I don’t think about it at all. I just try to write the best rockin’ suspense I can, and as I write, the spiritual theme begins to emerge. But this time, I just couldn’t get a wrenching scene from the ACFW conference out of my head. It tugged and tugged at me. And remember, all through my plotting and writing, I pray a lot, asking God for guidance in the story. So I have no doubt that this heart-tugging thing was an answer to those prayers.

At that conference I’d had the privilege of praying for some people and seeing some wonderful healing results. (ACFW conferences have a dedicated prayer room that’s open all day.) Sunday, after the conference was over, a group of four friends asked me to pray for them. “Just whatever God tells you,” they said. I didn’t know these four people at the time.

In the prayer room, one at a time, I placed my hands on their heads, and asked God to show me how to pray. Sometimes He gives me a strong answer, sometimes not. When I receive a strong answer, I know God has plans for healing that area of a person’s life. The healing can be immediate, or it can take place over time. For all four of these dear people, God would impress me with specifics as to how to pray.

I came to one of them, a young woman. This is the scene I will never forget. She was sitting, and I stood over her, placing my hands on her head. I asked God to show me whatever He would . . . and waited.

He answered, all right. One word hit me hard in the chest.

Just one word.

Read Part 62


Anonymous said...

Brandilyn, you are the mistress of cliff-hangers. I hope I soak that in for my own writing.

Cheryl said...

Not only is this the weekend, but it's a L-O-N-G one! Dratted holiday weekends!!

Unknown said...

Not again. I come here for inspiration and maybe a tidbit of information, and I get my brain scrambled. So no BeeGees T-shirts? I even ironed it.

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

Still loving the NES, Brandilyn, but my question is more on the suspense techniques. You are a master--truly wonderful. I mean, think about it. None of us knows anything about this woman, so it isn't character (as important as that is to a story) that has us all on the edge of our seats and groaning--in my case, audibly--at having to wait until TUESDAY. So, the question. This seems like a new way of creating suspense, or maybe a twist. Do you have a catalogue of techniques you use? Is this conscious or do you do it instinctively? (Have you thought about writing another how-to book on creating suspense? Well, maybe on turning plots from mundane to gripping. As if you needed another writing task. Hahah)

mrsd said...

Dear Mrs. Collins,
May you see three spiders on your vacation--three for the three days we have to wait for that one word. ;) sighs*

Unknown said...

So I have to wait until Tuesday. Huh?

I'll be back:)


Anonymous said...

Lol - there were other reasons for considering the Oregon conference -not just because of Jim Bell (though that is definitely a plus) - like cost, distance and smaller, more intimate groups. But ACFW sounds like it's going to be a blast...and the fact it is in Nashville doesn't hurt. Kinda hopin' God will tell me what to do.

C.J. Darlington said...

Once again, another great post. I have a question. It's great to hear of all your struggles with writing, but I wonder if sometime you could talk about what it is you love about writing. Why do you do it? What is your favorite part (besides holding the finished product in your hands :-) I sometimes forget why I do what I do with this writing thing, and I need to remember the good things about writing too.

Hearing from your readers is probably a highlight. But does it always feel like you're pulling a tooth when you sit down at the keyboard? What thrills you about writing novels?

Anonymous said...

No wonder you write suspense, Brandilyn. Suspense is your life. :o)

Just caught up on three days reading. Now I gotta wait 'til Tuesday. Woe is me!

I'd really like to make it to ACFW, but it's not looking good for this year.

Dineen A. Miller said...

Hey Brandilyn,
I'll be at conference too. Can't wait til Tuesday to hear this story from your POV (LOL!). Three of these dear ladies have been put in my life, clearly by God. Still waiting to find out why though. God has such a sense of homor and timing. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I continue to enjoy reading your BLOG, even though I tend to do it in chunks rather than each day. It's a fun experience when I'm reading it backwards.

Today it really helped to read how your themes come. I'm working on a book where I still don't know what the spiritual theme is. I keep praying and asking, and then write what I can as a I wait for the answer.

Thanks for being so vulnerable! I look forward to seeing you in Nashville!