He keeps talking to me.
He whispers in my ear as I try to sleep. He shouts above the screams of my fighting children as I attempt to write. He murmurs to me as I read, sharing bits and pieces of his life.
If I didn't love him so much, I'd find him annoying.
Who is he? It's Jed, the main character in my new WIP. If you follow my Twitter account (@raineerose), you know that I've had some angst-filled moments of late, moments when I've decried Jed's reluctance to settle on a plot, but a wise friend of mine (Monica--thank you!) has advised me to give the story some time and let it unfold as it will. That's good advice, I think, especially for a writer like me, who is incredibly impatient and wants to know everything about the story now. It's hard to sit quietly when all I want to do is begin telling the tale, but I know that the story will be stronger if I take the time to really think it through.
So I've taken my friend's advice. I'm letting the story sit, and I'm discovering that Jed's voice is clearer when my mind is open--when I'm not consciously thinking about the plot. I'm reminded of Field of Dreams and the popular but often misquoted "If you build it, he will come." I think it's the same with writing. I've laid the foundation--I have my idea, my protagonist, and a rough idea of the plot. Now I just need to wait for Jed to fill me in on the story, sharing with me the things that make his story one that needs to be told. In the meantime, I've been visiting writing forums, studying books about crafting YA novels, and reading work by current YA authors. I haven't stopped thinking about my story--not at all--but I've managed to put it on a back burner, allowing it to simmer away while I do other things. I'm waiting.
And I think my story will be better for it.