by Carol Burnside
Bet you thought I was talking about the book or the movie, but no. I’m talking about the edge of sleep. That relaxed stage we go into before totally succumbing to a slumberous state. It’s also that groggy, pre-surfacing state we get to prior to awakening. Twilight is my word for it. Not asleep, but not really awake either. I love it there. It’s a place where my mind soars with creativity.
Once upon a time, I got a critique back from an editor with really good feedback on my overall story. There were compliments, but in a nutshell, I didn’t have enough conflict. It’s a common problem with me. I want to make nice and get those poor loveless creatures together so they can feel the euphoric wonder of new love. But I forget that the happily ever after (HEA) is so-o-o much more rewarding if they have to struggle to get there. I’m really attached to the characters in that story. I knew I had to fix it. So I went to bed with that on my mind. How could I up the conflict, the tension? How could I complicate the lives of novella characters so that the story had enough ‘meat’ to be publishable.
In the back of my mind, nagging at me, was the realization that I had two other unfinished works with the same problem. No wonder I couldn’t seem to get past a certain point in writing them. But the solution just hadn’t been clear to me, so I’d set them aside. I had to make my characters suffer. Contrary to my upbringing, I needed to be a be-yotch and relish the job.
Some people let their creative mind soar in the shower, others while walking or working out. Me, I take a nap to find that freeing twilight.
So that night, in a twilight state, my mind whirled with ideas, one coming to the forefront more than others. Solution! I could flesh it out the next day, so my mind turned to the next story I’d been stuck on. Duh. Hero was too nice. Given the background I’d presented, he’d be much less trusting of the heroine up front, much more resentful.
I had my solutions. Next?
Unfortunately, that’s when sleep overtook me, but the next morning, all I had to do was lie in that same state for a few minutes and it all came flooding back. I grabbed pencil and paper and started writing notes. Hmm…maybe I should take more naps. (grin)
Have you had a ‘twilight’ moment lately? One of those where the solution to a problem suddenly presents itself and you wonder why you hadn’t thought of it before?