Step Back

Let’s talk books. How many books have you written?

I was once told that after 5 books, I would be able to tell the theme of my writing. Well, I’m writing my 5th manuscript now, (counting that one that resides permanently under my bed.) And, although I learned the theme of my writing some time ago, I recently discovered something else. Emotional tone.

I was working on my final proofread of book 3 in the Tricks of the Ton series when I first noticed a pattern—a pattern that reflected my life on a really personal level. People always ask about the inspiration for a story or for characters, whether the plots parallel real life situations. And, I say they don’t. What we write is fiction, right? I always answer that I pull inspiration from random things I observe. We all do. But, then, I took a step back. Last week, when I should have been writing, I sat staring at the covers of all 3 books across the room from my desk until the colors blended together before my eyes. The characters’ struggles and desires swirling into one another just like their colorful covers. And, that’s when I saw the similarities with my life—not in the plot, but within the tone.

Under the bed manuscript- A story about being lost and searching for where…or when to belong. *grins* (It was a time travel.) I wrote this when I was trying to figure out who I was as a new mother and a writer. And, much like in the story, I found my heart in history.

Book 1- A story filled with laughter in the midst of struggle. I wrote this when my mom was very ill and my husband had recently lost his job and decided to open a small business. I had a small child and was helping care for my mom while assisting with my husband’s new business. It was a struggle, and sometimes, all that’s left is to laugh about it.

Book 2- My evil mother book. This one was darker that the one that came before it. I wrote this just after my mom passed away. I was angry. It was unfair. Even though this book has humor, the plight of the characters is torturous. I was feeling rather tortured at the time, so again, this fits.

Book 3- A story of recovery after tragedy, finding love, and choosing happiness. My husband had a new job when I wrote this. My in-laws had just moved closer to spend more time with my son. We were closing on a new house and putting pieces of our lives back together after a rough couple of years. Recovery? Um, yes. You could say that.

Even though none of these books were about my life on a plot level, they were in a larger sense. I have no idea what the book I’m writing now will contain when I step away from it in consideration one day. But, I hope it will be happy and filled with laughter and love.

So, this is about the time when you’re screaming at your computer screen, “What’s the ever lovin’ point of this rambling blog post?”

Yeah, it did get a little rambly there, didn’t it? Sorry about that. Here’s my point: whatever you write, write it with your heart. Whatever you’re going through in life, it’s going to come out in your writing, and that’s okay. Write it anyway. Write through the happy, write through the sad—just write. Whether you’re story is about a vampire or a mother of 2 kids, your emotions will bleed through into your manuscript. And, one day, years from now, you’ll look back and see your life situation shining behind the words you wrote. Or perhaps, like me, today is that day…

Have you noticed patterns in your writing? Let’s chat about it.

~ E. Michels

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