In 2006 I was living in San Francisco, working at a private detective agency, and thinking about picking up writing again. I had moved to San Francisco in 2004 and I had quit drinking in 2005. For the past couple of years I had felt lost and confused. I didn’t really know what to do with myself if alcohol wasn’t going to be a major part of my life. I’d used it for a long time to numb myself and block my emotions—especially those emotions I felt around writing.
how to write a novel
In the past week I’ve had two different writers tell me the same thing. They started out with a great idea for a story and then, coincidentally, that night ended up watching a movie with a plot that almost exactly matched their idea. Both writers told me they were discouraged and thought about scrapping their idea. After all, they now had confirmation it had already been done, right?
Do you really know what motivates your characters? I mean beyond trying to solve the mystery of the plot you’ve woven around them, or being reunited with the person you’ve torn from them in the interest of suspense. What is the constant energetic force in your character’s life that drives him or her to do the things they do?