The Writer’s Mind

Last week I said that I would move away from heavy discussion an amusing piece of my own work. I’m not sure how ‘typical’ of a writer I am, but my methods are a little haphazard.

I start out with a brief plot summary (or what I know of it when I begin). Then I draw up a basic character list. I always try to do in-depth character profiles, but they end up boring me. I like discovering new facets of my characters as I go along. Occasionally, I like to actually step into the plot as it were. I will design a scene, place one or more of my characters there, and insert myself. I will watch the character (s), gleaning information from their action, and ask a question I am stuck on. I don’t think I’ve every penned the answer, but the very creative act helps clarify my thoughts.

The following scene is one I wrote when just starting out with “A Blush of Magic.” (Ronan is my male lead and Shana is my heroine):

The would-be puppet master inhaled deeply and sighed in appreciation as she stepped through the simple wooden door.  Despite the motes of sawdust that seemed determined to cling to her and the sharp aroma of varnish that overlaid everything, the scent of a workroom had always seemed clean to her—fresh and new and somehow comforting.  Very much like the big man who crouched in front of the elaborately carved crib, rubbing the sides with sandpaper.

He worked slowly, stopping every now and then to check his progress, treating the simple piece of wood as if it was the most valuable thing in the world.

She approached cautiously, almost afraid to disrupt his concentration lest he somehow damage the piece and have to start over.  With a self-deprecating sigh she shook her head.  That kind of thinking, unfortunately, was what one had to deal with when she was merely an apprentice.  She sternly reminded herself that the man in front of her was her own creation and if her appearance caused him to make a mistake she could simply re-write the scene.

She stopped a few feet from him and swallowed thickly, reminding herself that he wasn’t real, but her overactive imagination had done to good of a job.  She would have to reign in her unruly thoughts to do what she had come here for, but his big, muscular body was much too distracting.

“You’re supposed to be a professional,” her inner voice chided.

She pulled her eyes from his rippling, naked muscles.  “Excuse me,” she said.

He didn’t move.

She cleared her throat loudly and tried again.  “Excuse me.”

He dropped the sandpaper and slowly looked up, his intense gray eyes boring into hers.  “Who would you be?” he asked.  “For I’ve not seen you around these parts and you have the look of one of those yanks.  Are you a friend to Shana then?”

She laughed in merriment, finding her confidence restored.  An Irishman could never be counted on to ask a simple question.  “Yes,” she said when she finally wound down.  “I suppose you could call me a friend of Shana’s since do have her best interests at heart.  But I didn’t come to talk about her.  I came to talk to you.”

“Well then.”  He stood up and dusted off his pants.  “If it’s just a chat you want, I’ll be happy to accommodate you.”  He headed toward a corner, where two chairs sat, and gestured her to follow.  “I could do with a wee break.”

The almost puppet master sank onto the surprisingly comfortable chair and turned to him.  How to start?  There really was no delicate way.  “How do you feel about love?” she asked.

I hope you enjoyed it. I’ll be back next week with a new post.

Rose Connelly


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Maryska Connolly
    Mar 14, 2011 @ 18:34:42

    I have to admit I haven’t had a chance to read must of this book, but this scene definitely intrigues me lol. Puppet master? Her own creation? Rewrite the scene? Hmmm…

    I do the same thing you do, btw. I tend to create the scene, insert my characters in it, and then see what happens from there. Sometimes they really surprise me! 🙂


    • roseconnelly
      Mar 14, 2011 @ 18:48:51

      Technically, it’s not really surprise because it came from you so you must have been thinking about it or formatting it. That, in my opinion, makes it more interesting because I find it fascinating to think your brain hides so much from you conscious mind.


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