Saturday, June 6, 2015

Lost in the Mind of a Writer by Patricia Forsythe

Did you ever notice on a movie or television show how a detective will suddenly freeze and stare into space when all the clues come together to show him the solution to the mystery he’s been trying to solve?  Well, that technique isn’t exclusive to detectives.  Every writer I know does that exact same thing.

Sometimes the detective figures out the identity of the villain a little too late, after several crimes have been committed.  Writers are lucky in that while we’re staring into space and trying to work out a plot point, or tie up the loose ends of a story, no one has actually died, no bank has been robbed, no terrorist has held an entire city hostage.   Luckily, all that chaos is happening only in our heads.

Writers also have a habit of working out an action scene or plot point while doing something else like, oh say, driving.  It’s so easy to put our actions on automatic pilot while our minds are occupied with our story.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven right past my turn or destination because my mind was occupied with what my characters were doing rather than what I was doing.

Also, we’re thieves.  There’s no way to sugar coat that fact.  Don’t ever tell a writer anything you don’t want to appear in a book.   We’ll take your story and use it to further our plot, or hijack your words and put them into the mouths of our characters. 
It’s a compulsion.  We can’t help it. 

All that being said, I probably should apologize to my nephew for borrowing his stories from his deployments with the army and to my cousin for taking what he told me about his horses and cattle and making them part of Her Lone Cowboy, my June Harlequin Heartwarming release.  I can only hope I did their stories justice because, really, I can’t help myself.

USA Today bestselling author Patricia Forsythe is the author of dozens of romance novels, and all of them have stories she’s borrowed from other people. 
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  1. Patricia, I identify with your post. I used something my hubby once said. He's not a fan of country music, and when I tuned his car radio to a country station he said, "My car doesn't do country." I used that in my first book. That's what my heroine told the hero.