It's been a crazy few days having my eight year old grandson, Chase Andrew, here while trying to get the article finished for The Plain Dealer, and jotting notes and scenes for the novel I'm working on.
Chase loves to read and write too so while I write he writes: letters to his mom, sister, and two brothers. Or he draws pictures. One day he drew a wonderful detailed picture of Batman and all the leading characters in the movie. It's on the refrigerator, though he tells me it's a gift for his mom when he goes home.
Chase is one of a set of triplets. He's highly intelligent and just as inquisitive. If I've heard, "But why Nanny, why?" Once I've heard it a million times.
Chase has all the attributes of a good writer. He's not satisfied with what satisfies everyone else. He wants to know more. He wants to dig deeper. He wants the whole picture. He wants to know the motive and he needs to know what's behind all the action. And that's what I want to know too when I write.
Right now I'm working on motive for each one of my characters and looking at why they've made the choices they've made - which is what sets a novel in motion.
I have most of the motives and have written several scenes. Now I'm laboring over my notes and deciding which scene to put in and which to leave out.
I think it was Elmore Leonard who said, "I try to leave out the parts that readers skip." How many times have you been reading a good book and come upon several pages of a description or information that is plain boring and you skip on to the next bit of "action?" In this story, I'm making an effort to leave out the parts that readers skip. I hope I'm successful.
The story is being told by an eight year old girl and I think that makes it pretty exciting. You never know what an eight year old will do. I'm learning!