Sometimes I talk to myself, sometimes I talk to my characters, and on my best days my characters talk to me. Here are some random questions that have changed my life.
1) “Mrs. G., I don’t get what a mixed fraction is, or any of the stuff we did with numbers today or any other day. Can you go over it again?” After whining and fussing and probably making my mother crazy with my lack of confidence, she taught me to ask questions in class. “The teacher is there for a reason,” she told me. “It’s her job to answer your questions.” The freedom I felt when I realized the power of asking questions translated into everything. What a relief it was to ask! Just ask!
2) “What are you doing behind your trailer with a shovel in the middle of the night?” At first Claudine (Buried, Dutton 2006) was just a character bumming out in the dark behind her trailer in the middle of the night. She had a shovel and a blue tarp. Of course I thought it was odd, but having an opinion isn’t as powerful as asking a direct question. It changed the entire course of the book and the focus became clear.
3) “Should I tell Mom, or not?” Right now Kendra is wrestling with that question. Kendra is the main character of my current WIP.
4) “Am I writing a fantasy, a paranormal, or a sci-fi?” I’ve been asking this a lot as I work on my other WIP. I’m totally in love with my newest baby and when I feel a little blah about the one I’m supposed to be working on, I play with the new one.
5) “Did I turn the coffee maker off?” Or iron, or lights… I tend to go into freak-out mode when I’m doing too much, so those are questions I ask when I’m half to school. The solution is to call my husband (if he’s still home) to ask him to turn on the crock-pot, or turn off the iron.