Which Season is Your Book In?
By SUZAN BUTLER
Ever notice how your story goes through phases while you write? Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s easy, and sometimes, you wish it had a neck so you could strangle it. Sometimes it’s cooperative, other times, you wonder why you started writing it. Each story you write, like every year, has its seasons.
We start with the inklings of an idea, aka winter. We huddle up against the cold, wondering when it’s going to bloom and grow. There isn’t much color, the trees don’t have leaves. Nothing is in bloom, and we start to think that things will ever be different. It’s cold, lifeless. At this stage, we tend to panic because the story isn’t coming, and we think nothing will ever happen. But even in winter, things are happening. Life is under that dead exterior. We just can’t see it. Under the ground, new life is taking hold, getting ready to sprout.Â That idea is in the dark recesses of our mind, slowly, slowly starting to form.
Be patient with it. Winter doesn’t last forever. Snuggle up in front of the fire with a bunch of movies and stop worrying. Nature is taking its course.
When our book hits this stage, we start to see tiny shoots, little bits of color. The ice starts to thaw out. The occasional idea pops up, and you’ll have the urge to leap on every idea. The thing about plants is you don’t want to overwater them. If you delve right into every idea, you’ll trample those little seeds down before they’ve had a chance to open up fully. Keep that notebook handy, write down the ideas as they come and leave them alone while you go about admiring the new life around you, and the scents of spring. You can’t force life to grow.
Oh, man, summer is Teh Awesome. Everything is in bloom now. Beautiful green grass flowing in the wind, fresh flowers bursting out around you. The scent of life is everywhere. The world is alive and in full swing. The story is flowing so fast you can barely keep up with it. You lock yourself away and your family wonders what’s happened to you, and maybe they whine a little about never getting to spend time with you, and you promise them after the next chapter is done you’ll come down and socialize. Enjoy this time, because this is why you write. To get that beautiful rush from how the story just unfolds for you. Summer is such a great feeling.
Before you know it, your summer has past. Remember that story you wanted to write back during that cold winter? You’ve done it. Time to let it go. Let your fully grown story go and enjoy its life. Take this time to restock and refuel. Give yourself a bit of a break, congratulate yourself on a story well written. Winter is just around the corner, which means a new story. The circle of life continues so don’t worry. The cycle will happen again.
Suzan Butler writes contemporary romance and alternate historical fantasy while currently living in Texas under a not-so-secret public identity. When she’s not writing, she may be found coercing the two little monsters she gave birth to into doing their homework or the laundry. When that doesn’t work, she can be found onÂ Twitter,Facebook,Â Goodreads, orÂ Pinterest. Visit her on her website/blog atÂ SuzanButler.com.