Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Feeling

I started writing ONE on August 1st. It started with an idea, and very, very quickly picked up character to embody it. A girl and a boy - Merrin and Elias - who had grown up in the same tough situation, and handled it very differently.

I wrote a scene, a long one, two thousand words long, that first day.
This first scene-that's-now-a-whole-chapter was one of discovery, exhilaration, romance, and devastation all at once.

That night, after I finally closed my computer and sighed with the relief of this scene finally having WORDS, this idea finally having skin and bones to it, I went to bed and woke up with it.

 The Feeling.

Yep. Writing that scene gave me The Feeling, without a doubt. Then and there, I fell in love with the story. But more important than that, The Feeling allowed me to believe in Merrin and Elias, in how awesome they are, in what they can do. Enough to spend hundreds of hours writing the whole darn thing out, word for painstaking word, to give it form and shape, and way way way more soul than even that first scene has.

 It's not obsession, exactly - it's more like the story is bonded to my heart, that the characters have taken up residence inside my head, and both have made it very clear they're not going anywhere for a very long time.

Now, sixty-five thousand words later, two and a half months later, and in the homestretch of finishing the first messy, messy draft, that scene is almost exactly the same as it was the day I wrote it.

I love Nik and Davis from THE TRAVELERS - yes, absolutely. And maybe it's just because I've spent three times as long with them, revising them and their story, getting to know them, worming through their brains, watching them struggle and then struggle some more.  But my love for them is more...familiar? Fond? Motherly, even, maybe? Ardent, and deep, to be sure...but it's not the same as the way I feel about ONE.

Merrin and Elias - right now, my love for them, and their story, and the degree to which I'm rooting for them - it's FIERCE. And it's desperate, like I'll die if they don't make it. Whenever I think about them and their stories, both before and after they met each other, my heart twists.

It's The Feeling, multiplied a dozen times over. And it's truly incredible.

When did you get The Feeling about your story? Was it a slow burn, or hit-you-like-a-Mack-truck sensation? Do you still have it? 


  1. Mine would have to be the slow burn. I had a fairly insignificant idea for a story, but when I finally wrote a scene based on that idea, I began to think, "This could work." So I emailed my beloved aunty and writing mentor.

    She said it could work, too.

    And thus I got to work. And every time I discovered something new about my story I fell more in love. I began to feel The Feeling.

    I've been working on this novel for almost two year, now, and I've come so far. I've fallen head-over-heels for it. And now I get The Feeling every time I think of my story.

  2. I think this post just broke my heart. Because I fall in love with all my characters, and then I get so sad thinking that no one will ever get to meet them.

    I think I told you LYM was based on a dream, too. I saw a blonde girl snuggling up to her boyfriend in the hallway at high school, and then the door opens and her face drops and she goes running to the boy who just walked in. The funny thing is, I had this dream before the LBD dream... and Kelsey was originally Alexis. I borrowed her for LBD when I decided to write it, thinking it would be my one and only story. Of course, now they look totally different in my head, but it goes to show how attached we can get.

    I'm so glad you're in love with ONE. I'm going to send you the biggest, fattest care package ever when it gets published.

  3. I love that you are in love! And I think the feeling is different every time--which is awesome, because I love that every WiP feels so darn different. That's what keeps it interesting.

    The one Gina is reading was love at first sight. For one character in particular. And that character isn't the MC--which might be the root of some of my struggles. I didn't fall in love with that MC until well into the third act. And looking back at it now, this is probably why I love the third act so much and am beating myself up with the first two.

    The one you're reading--I'm still waffling about the love. Honestly, I'm just not there yet. I've asked myself why a thousand times. I've thought--I should just abandon it if I don't have that deep passion for it. But I keep working on it, so there must be some passion there. I mean--just to type out 80k means that something is there. And I am super excited to get Marie's feedback and work on it again. So--maybe it's just a different type of love. More steady and slow.

    Wonderful, inspiring post!

  4. I love that idea of The Feeling! I often feel this way about writing so it's great to hear that I'm not alone. I tend to get The Feeling at different points of working on something - although usually more often around the inception - and it's something to try to hold onto when you're feeling down in the dumps about it (such as during *cough*revisions*cough*).

  5. Oh, this is so sweet. It's awesome you have The Feeling.

    I think I loved the idea of the story for my first WIP. Currenlty titled Goodbye Avery.) Now that I am completely rewriting it, I have fallen IN LOVE with these characters.

  6. Oh gosh, if The Feeling isn't the best feeling in the world, I don't know what is. I love all my characters, but I have to admit I haven't had The Feeling for TN for a while. Right now, I've got it for ALEXITHYMIA. Bad. So it's probably a good thing I'm doing that for NaNo.

    Now, sometime near the end of NaNo, I'm probably going to fall fiercely in love with the idea of Book 3, because I'm going to miss all the TN characters so much.

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