Ask, and Ye Shall Receive

So, last week, I posted on the noises in my head and how I’ve been having issues focusing, you all remember that, right?

Well, I had a lightbulb go off a couple of days later. Seriously.

An idea for a fantasy series had been growing in my mind for some time. At first, I liked the idea (no, I’m not telling you what it is!), but that was it–it was just an idea that might be fun to explore one day. The last couple of weeks though, I started seeing pictures in my head and hearing the characters arguing.

A couple of nights after I posted about the level of noise, I had a dream about the final battle. That’s when I knew that this series–this story–would be next on my list.

So, I convinced my husband to sit and listen to me rattle on for an hour or so. We brainstormed together (he’s one of my favorite idea guys, but he doesn’t often like to listen to me go on and on…and on), and the story began to evolve in my head.

The idea took on a life of its own. I mean, the story I’m writing now is a new creature, even from the original idea. But there’s all this exciting stuff and it’s all flowing so well and I’m just so thrilled! Can you tell?

Still, though, when it gets quiet and I’m staring at the inky darkness before I fall asleep, I wonder.

 See, I’m not a big fantasy reader. I mean, I love fantasy–I’ll watch about anything fantasy-wise that comes out in the theatre. But I’ve always had a hard time READING fantasy. For instance, Lord of the Rings definitely ranks among my top 5 movies of all time, but I’ve not made it past page 10 in the first book. I have read a couple of fantasy books, but none of the big names.

Am I really cut out to WRITE fantasy? When I was younger, all the stories I wrote were fantasy. Then I went to high school where poetry took over for the most part, and in college all I wrote were assignments for class. I got married, had my first child, and only then did I accept the call to be a writer. My first three novels had very little to do with anything “speculative”. My third novel–the one I’ve spent the last two years on, is a supernatural suspense. I attempted another supernatural suspense during NaNo, but dried out on the story after the first 10 days.

And then–nothing–nothing but those voices and the pulling and the contemplating. What kind of writer am I? So, naturally, I pull a fantasy out of my hat. Naturally? Go figure.

So, who, besides God Almighty, knows how this experiment will go. I’m not going to argue. When the inspiration hits, and you feel the pull, can you really argue? I just sit down in my seat, bow my head and the Lord to lead my fingers, to breathe passion and truth into every word, every sentence, every chapter, until there is a story like none other out there. A story that will inspire, offer hope, change lives.

Or perhaps be stuck in limbo for several years before being regulated to the back of the closet with novels 1, 2, and 3. I prefer the first option.

About Ralene Burke

Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a freelance editor’s sword, or a social media wand, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to make it SHINE! She has worked for a variety of groups, including Realm Makers, The Christian PEN, Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, and as an editor for a number of freelance clients. Her first novel, Bellanok, is being published as a 4-part serial! When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . .

2 comments on “Ask, and Ye Shall Receive

  1. Well, if it’s beating down the doors of your head, then write it! I read a lot of juvie fantasy (chewing through Fablehaven at the moment), and it’s SO much easier to get through than adult fantasy. You don’t have to deal with the over-the-top flowery language, which is such a relief. You just have the story and the characters. 🙂

  2. I agree with Kessie!

    I also like what my son’s art teacher does to help her students switch gears from an analytical to a creative frame of mind:

    She has them draw an object they’re looking at–while not being able to look at the drawing. Robbie demonstrated this for me by turning half around, away from the paper, and picking an object in front of him to draw. He said that it takes practice to perfect the mind-switch technique; at first it was upwards of fifteen minutes before he snapped into the right frame of mind, but then it went down to something less than a minute or two.

    I’m not entirely sure what the correlation would be in creative writing, but there has to be one. Maybe the fifteen minute topical word sprints that I heard someone talking about using? They were doing this with a group at Barnes & Noble in Colorado Springs. They had a set day and time where they’d meet. I’m not sure how they picked the topics, but I do know that the topics were randomly chosen somehow.

    We can’t live in the creative mind-set nonstop. Sometimes the minutiae of living jars you out and then it’s difficult to work your way back in again. I’m hoping that the above examples help you when the inspiration dries up.

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