Friday, July 8, 2011


Writing in the zone....

Some days the words play a game of hide-and-seek in your brain. Especially when you're trying to write a sentence, much less a scene in a book. The paragraphs emerge on the screen in a piecemeal pattern and thank goodness, there's the opportunity to edit and revise. Several times.

Other times, it all flows. The writer is in that zone where lunch breaks are forgotten, even appointments, while the story takes over from reality. At the end of the scene, the page, the chapter...whatever, the writer emerges from the story and asks, 'what day is this'?

It happened to me earlier this week as I finished off another draft, I think #3, of book #2. I had been reading, editing and writing steadily for six hours and was so enveloped in the town of Ashton Corners, Alabama...and so wrapped up in the lives of my characters, it took several minutes to re-orient and remember what day and even, where I was. That's pure gold to a writer. Being able to write in the zone. Unfortunately, it doesn't happen frequently enough for my liking.

It's can be a similar experience for the reader, too. I have been so carried away to a fictional place with characters who seem like friends, that I lose all sense of time and place. Those are the books I treasure and keep on my shelf. Those are the authors I eagerly await another book from. And perhaps it's the waiting that adds to the experience. Like looking forward to the yearly summer vacation each year.

What book have you zoned out on recently?

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase
A Killer Read coming April, 2
from Berkley Prime Crime

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