I like painâ€”there I said it.
No, this isnâ€™t a piece about bondage or kinky sex. Itâ€™s about how stories grow
for me, how they percolate up into my psyche, almost always while Iâ€™m not
looking. A question Iâ€™m frequently asked in interviews or by readers is if I
start a writing project with character or setting. Itâ€™s a question thatâ€™s always
stumped me a little bit, not because I didnâ€™t understand it, but because
somehow, it didnâ€™t feel like it applied to my writing process. I realize now,
after two finished novels, and with two more in progress, that itâ€™s because
every story Iâ€™ve ever written, or probably ever will write, has been born out of
While itâ€™s true that itâ€™s a character who actually experiences the pain, itâ€™s
almost always the pain and heartache itself that comes first. The circumstances
then help me build the character and drive the story. In my first novel, The
Secrets She Carried, the linchpin character, Adele Laveau, was formed in the
space of about fifteen minutes, after I noticed a single grave on the side of
the road in North Carolina. My mind immediately began to race, posing all sorts
of questions about who was buried in this terribly lonely place, and why. The
answers came almost faster than I could keep track of. The story I built was a
tragic one, full of loss and angst, and heartbreak. And because of those things,
I knew I had to figure out who this woman was, and how her story ended.
In my second novel, The Wishing Tide, my favorite character is named Dirty Mary.
Sheâ€™s a very troubled and eccentric person, though very wise too, in her own
way. And like most of us, she isnâ€™t quite who she appears to be on the surface,
which made her enormously fun to write. Mary sprang up almost fully formed, as a
result of a chance meeting with a woman on the Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode
Island. As we hiked the cliffs together, she began talking about her life, and
about how sheâ€™d had to â€˜go awayâ€™ for a while. There were obvious gaps in her
story, things she clearly didnâ€™t want to revisit, which, of course, got my brain
churning. By the end of that walk, I had a head full of questions, the first one
being: what would have to happen to a woman to completely break her? And then I
began filling in the blanks, layering on the losses and the sorrow, until I knew
exactly who Mary was, what she had survived, and what sheâ€™d been forced to do in
order to cope. I wanted to write the story of a woman who had seen things, been
through things, and had come through to the other side, scarred but wiseâ€”or as
Hemmingway put it, stronger at the broken places.
Novel three, which Iâ€™m working on now, germinated in much the same way, and
revolves around a character who endured some very ugly things in the first half
of her life, and eventually has to find way to transcend those horrors and get
on with the business of living. It might not sound like it, but ultimately, my
novels are about hope, about the resilience of the human sprit, and loveâ€™s
capacity to overcome heartbreak, and even betrayal. But first I have to set the
stage. I have to create the heartache before I can create the healing. I have to
create the betrayal before I can create the forgiveness.
I suppose Iâ€™m attracted to these kinds of storiesâ€”as both a reader and a writerâ€”
because Iâ€™ve always cheered for the underdog. I like seeing people whoâ€™ve been
knocked around by life finally figure it out, in spite of the scars and bruises,
and in the process, show us how itâ€™s done. In the end, I write
happily-ever-afters, because I believe in them. But I also think a
happily-ever-after is just a little sweeter when a character really has to fight
for itâ€”which is why I always start with heartbreak.
2 comments posted.
How i got my husband back.Am Stacey Bruno by name I never believed in love spells or magic until I met this spell caster once when i went to see my friend in Indian this year on a business summit. I meant a man who's name is Dr ATILA he is really powerful and could help cast spells to bring back one's gone, lost, misbehaving lover and magic money spell or spell for a good job or luck spell .I'm now happy & a living testimony cos the man i had wanted to marry left me 5 weeks before our wedding and my life was upside down cos our relationship has been on for 3years. I really loved him, but his mother was against us and he had no good paying job. So when i met this spell caster, i told him what happened and explained the situation of things to him. At first i was undecided,skeptical and doubtful, but i just gave it a try. And in 7 days when i returned to Canada, my boyfriend (now husband) called me by himself and came to me apologizing that everything had been settled with his mom and family and he got a new job interview so we should get married. I didn't believe it cos the Dr ATILA only asked for my name and my boyfriends name and all i wanted him to do. Well we are happily married now and we are expecting our little kid, and my husband also got the new job and our lives became much better. His email is: email@example.com
(Stacey Bruno 12:13pm November 26, 2014)