I was working on a scene yesterday. It wasn’t moving along very well and I had trouble getting into the groove. I usually wait for an emotional trigger, something from the characters or the story that provokes a response; something that connects what is happening in the scene to a deeper meaning underneath. That, for me, is the fabric of the story and the stuff that holds the rest together. I came to a point in the story where some of the children in the group were about to separate from the rest. Suddenly, a small fraction of a phrase came to me. It was spoken by one of the characters who had recently begun to speak in a language she could only understand intuitively. The phrase she used was “Esla ar Foyelle.”
When my main character asked what it meant, I didn’t really know the answer. I waited, just sat there, fingers on the keyboard. After a few minutes, the meaning appeared. “Never apart” was the translation. Without giving too much away, “never apart” is an aspect of the deeper fabric of the story, a thread that weaves through it and into all the other books in the series. And that was the emotional trigger I had been waiting for. It made the scene deeper and more powerful. In fact, it gave the scene the meaning it needed. It also gave meaning to what is to come in the next scene. It gave the characters a way to bond to each other and it provided an access point for the reader to connect to the story on a deeper level.
For me, a lot of writing is waiting. Sometimes I don’t get anything for days and then, while driving in the car or just before going to sleep at night, something suddenly comes up that pushes the story forward, that lifts it up and places it onto a higher playing field. It is during those moments where I know the reason for why I love to write.