IN THE ZONE

In the zone. Athletes understand the term. Runners run in the zone. They know when in the  zone they are running at their best. It’s not  running. it’s being running.

Writers understand the term, too.  Shirley McClain calls it channeling. As a writer, I think all my books have been written in the Zone. Certainly THE SCAM, CHILDREN OF THE EXTINCTION and the sequel, CLAIR CHILD OF THE EXTINCTION A Love Story were.

One of my favorite story tellers, Dean Koontz,  said THE WATCHERS-a story, I couldn’t put it down-was written in the Zone. Tolkien, in the Hobbit,  speaks of a tall Big Person who Bilbo  sees entering the gates. Tolkien had never seen him before, but he  turns out to be an important person in the trilogy.

That’s how it works. The creative mind, in the Zone, takes over. In The SCAM. Karen, the narrator, watches someone run from her barn, shoes in hand, and says, “That’s the last we saw of Gypsy Jake.” He turned out to be a most important person in the story. I, as the writer of this  little book, had no idea who he was.

In CHILDREN OF THE EXTINCTION, I got the children, and the women looking out for them, in such a terrible mess I went to bed  thinking, ‘How am I going to get them out of this?’The next day,  one of the little kids trapped  in this horror  told me how. I didn’t know. He did.

Every writer, I think, has his own style of writing. Hemingway wrote standing up. Read everything he’d written before before he began to write again. Once he said to his wife, about his work, FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS,   “Today they’re going to blow up the bridge.”

For me, I know  my characters, my location, I know the story-how it will start and how it will end, and send them on a journey. They travel-hypothetically-from San Francisco to New York. On the way they’ll run out of gas, take a detour, meet good guys and bad guys, get lost,  get a flat tire and, somehow, reach their destination.

When I’m in the Zone, I sit at the computer and take dictation. I love to write first person narrative, let a character in the book tell the story. CHILDREN of the EXTINCTION is written in a woman’s voice.  She does not always speak grammatically. People don’t talk with complete sentences,  capital letters, periods. I never knew one  who talked with semi-colons. Kurt Vonnegut said, “Never use a semi-colon.”

People speak over each other. Finish sentences.  Speak in fragments. My computer has a fit. Some Editors do, too.

Writers read. Voraciously. Learn. Create their own style. Tell their own stores their own way.

I think you’ll love CHILDREN OF THE EXTINCTION. Find it on Amazon Books  CHILDREN OF THE EXTINCTION Bettejo Dux. And soon at Talk Story book store in Hanapepe. Come to my Big Bettejo Birthday Book Signing Bash at Birdies August 16, 3-6PM. See’ya there.

 

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