“Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
Have you ever had a sentence just pop into your head out of nowhere? Something so outside of what you were doing at the time it stopped you in your tracks? That random, unexpected, inexplicable sentence ended up being the first words of my novel, Rayven’s Keep. A novel, I might add, I wasn’t even contemplating writing.
I would love to say a fully formed story idea followed quickly behind that short sentence, but it didn’t. All I had was a new word document, one sentence and a blinking cursor quietly minding its own business while I tried to figure out what just happened. Who was this character, Nick Rayven, and what the heck was Lodestone, and why did he hate it?
Always up for an adventure, I found words starting to flow and before I knew it I had a rough draft of my first chapter– and I do mean rough! Over the next days bits and pieces of the story arc started to jell in my mind. My critique partner would read some of what I had written and then ask me questions I struggled to answer. I swear I would almost break out in a sweat while I tried to work my way through the plot. But, she forced me to take a germ of an idea and fully flesh it out – if only in my mind. Have you figured out I am a bit of a pantser yet?
I worried I would never be able to finish the book, but I kept plugging away refining sentences, working through plot problems and growing to love my characters and the journey they were on.
I learned to take feedback without personalizing it and realized the comments most often strengthened the story. I also came to realize this was just the first story in the world I was building and while refining the plot for this one I was also laying the groundwork for the ones to follow.
When that sentence popped into my head I never dreamed it would finish with a book that was a finalist in the Golden Rose Contest or a first place winner in a contest sponsored by Lyrical Press – How Lyrical is your Romance. I never imagined I would be offered a contract.
Rayven’s Keep has been a wild ride from start to finish and I can’t wait for the story to be released by Lyrical Press on June 3. I am astounded by the power of one random sentence that started it all.
What was the trigger for your story?