You know you’re an author when….there are so many cliches out there that humorously finish this sentence. They range from ‘… no one will ever play you in scrabble’ to ‘…you go on dates with people and falsely deny that you are going to write about them’ to ‘…you have certain punctuation marks you can’t stop obsessively using’ or even ‘…you take a pen and paper with you everywhere, sometimes even into bed, just in case you have an idea at three in the morning that absolutely must be remembered.”
And like all clichés, they have their basis in reality. Well, I’ve just experienced one. And as a result I’m feeling very writerly!
Writers fill up their minds with so much stuff they may or may not use. The collect and store whole scenes, single images, lines of dialogue, turns of phrase, character names and all sorts in their head. And as they write, sometimes it becomes time for one of those well nurtured ideas to make it onto paper. They’ve been hidden away for years, slowly gestating into something tangible, ready to be made real through words on a page. And ultimately they’ll be shared with the reader. Only the reader will never truly know the sheer depth of thought that went into that sentence, paragraph or even whole chapter.
And that’s just how it should be.
I’m at the closing stages of writing my debut novel and I’ve just drafted a chapter that’s been in my head for well over four years. I’ve imagined it in all sorts of different ways. It was always very visual and action packed with mini-cliffhangers in each section of the chapter. I’m an avid fan of Jeffery Deaver, the absolute master of this type of suspenseful writing, and, for me, I’ve always known this chapter was going to be my ‘Jeffery Deaver’ moment.
And now I’ve finally written it. In fact, on the page, the chapter is even better than in my various imaginings. Which is a great feeling. Very vindicating!
So, Mr Jeffery Deaver, if by some miracle you ever read this scene in my novel, I hope you appreciate it. I’ve certainly appreciated learning the craft of suspense from you.