I discovered only last year that I love writing two stories at the same time. Before I would always stick to one story and then move on to the next. But this time it was two completely different stories moving along parallel to each other. I finished off a suspense with romantic elements and a women's fiction that explored the effects of a parent's illness on a woman's life. When one would cause me trouble - a twist wasn't moving anything the right way - there was the other story to turn to that always seemed to be in a place of flow. I love both stories and I've been recently told that I have two voices. There was a time, when I was thrilled to have one.
One voice, two voices - I was thinking how my recent stories have changed from my past. History was the place I first went when writing fiction. I still love that era just prior to World War II, where better to set a romance? After all, that was the era of my first published book - the book where research could have easily eclipsed the writing. Maybe it is a special time in my mind for I've heard so many first hand stories from many of my elder relatives who experienced the Great Depression and even the time leading up to it. Or maybe it's just history in general for I dove even further back when I wrote a second book, Ring of Desire. But since then I've moved on and into the present.
It's amazing how much has changed and how much remains the same.
What motivates someone to do something - what motivates a fictional character?
I was on the road last week and as we traveled through the seemingly unchanged prairie landscape I was thinking about that and a group of characters that seem to be slowly coming to life. It seems what motivates most people remains as old as time - lust, greed, envy, money, hate and even love. And fortunately, the majority, well they're good people that take a wrong turn here or there and it's those wrong turns that give the unexpected twists to fiction.
While the times, they may be a-changing, people and their motivation - well there's much that remains as steady as the unchanging countryside I'm crossing.
The scenery across Saskatchewan into Alberta is very much that rough cactus pocked hills - you can almost see the T-Rex lumbering over the rolling dips and lilts in the land. Some day I want to explore parts of those hills. But this time it's a trip to Calgary where unlike out here, where communities are spread far apart, change is never-ending because it's people that implement the change. But once you peel back all the concrete and the pavement - is it, like peoples' motivations, all the same old earth it's always been?
Stories - no matter what the genre, even when the characters aren't quite human, they still tell us something about the human condition.
Any interesting trips in your summer?