Back to business

Iowa mapIt was good to get back to Clinton.

I took today off to catch up with Paul’s family and to learn more about his old friends. Since Paul had moved away, a new middle school had opened, swallowing two others, including the one that he had attended. His former friends, teachers and others who had known him had grown and changed and had moved on, as people do. Except for his parents, they really hadn’t thought much about Paul throughout the years. Oh, they might have read in the Clinton Herald about his being deployed to Afghanistan and his safe return, but once he went off to Iowa State, their lives began to diverge. Eventually, many of them lost touch.

If Janelle talks to them, I wonder if she would begin to understand how an all-American boy from Iowa could become a terrorist, that is, if the charges against him are true.

If you’ve just stumbled across my blog, you’ll discover that I’m in the midst of the creative process. I know the story line. I’ll finish creating my minor characters this week. The setting is roughed out and most my research is complete. I’ll begin plotting next week.

To help myself stay focused, I returned to E.M. Forster’s classic Aspects of the Novel for a refresher. He does a wonderful job of stating what we intuitively know makes a good story. Whenever I get to this point in a major project, I return to his advice on how to make readers care about the characters, maintain tension and make every word count. When I begin writing and share snippets, I’ll look to you to tell me how well I’m doing.

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