My colleague Marie Lamba wrote an excellent blog post about all the dead mothers showing up in her queries. As mother’s day weekend is upon us, and as I’m an actual mother, I’d like to say here and now that I don’t really like all the dead mothers either. And yet…
I started writing a manuscript this week after being very inspired by the keynote addresses of both Sharon Creech and Grace Lin at the New England SCBWI conference I was at this weekend.. Creech remembered thinking (many years ago, when writing one of her first novels) that if she just wrote one page a day that at the end of a year she’d have 365 pages, and basically… a book length manuscript!
“Hmmmm,” I thought to myself. “I could do that. I could write ONE page a day. How difficult could it be?”
But as I started to spin out a story in my mind, a potential thing to actually write down I remembered that not only would I have to create the great characters that were already starting to whisper their stories to me, and place them in an interesting, believable place, but there would also need to be a conflict.
Again I found myself saying, “Hmmmm,” and for a fleeting moment it occurred to me that I could easily do it. I could kill her off and all the characters could be sad or hurt or angry or whatever. Voila! Conflict! But I came to my senses very quickly. That would just be too conveniently easy and too already done.
So anyway, I’ve started writing. Wish me luck, everyone! I’m very good at starting stories but I don’t have a great track record of completing them. But I believe (or maybe it’s hope?) that you all will keep me honest. So do it! Keep me honest. And honor your mother!