photo-5Taking a break from sonnet writing, I found a line today from an old simile and metaphor exercise I’d done quite a while ago. Of the ten writings on the page–and some of them not too bad–this one made me stop:

She wished to draw me deeper into the lion’s den, through the confrontation and slaying of this beast, to the victory of her life.

I have no idea what I was talking about. I find these lines sometimes and try to remember what story I was going to write with them. In this case, it was just an exercise, so I didn’t have to have any particular person or story in mind for it. Continuing my break from the sonnets, I let my mind wander to the kind of story I would tell using this line.

I started to plot it out. And that’s when I (again) realized why I’m so bad at those “If this…Then that” standardized tests. (Bad is a relevant term here. I’m brilliant at answers, just not brilliant at finding the one I was supposed to find.)

The thing of it is, writers beat standards the way that paper covers rock. I can come up with a plausible reason for each of A, B, C, and D, and can prove that they’re all correct so long as I can turn in my scratch paper. (Someone told me once to find the answer that’s more correct than the others. On one hand, that’s absurd. What crazed person sits in a dark basement practicing his maniacal laugh while designing these questions?? On the other hand, these questions are the ultimate challenge to make every answer fit better and better, over and over again…)

In any case, writers start with the basics: a line, phrase, a feeling, or the inkling of an idea, and we build around it. As we’re inundated daily with more and more information, sensory and otherwise, the constant question is, “How would I write this?”

It’s in this process that all avenues are traversable, all methods viable, all options are open. When you live in fiction, the world is full of possibilities.

My first book, Upside Down Kingdom, is available on Amazon.