Story Magic

It happens when you least expect it, usually days or weeks or months after you need it. Whether I’m reading a book or writing one, there’s a moment when the magic of the story hits me and I’m swept up into the lives of the people on the page.

While I was writing my upcoming indie release WEDDING FEVER, I experienced this marvelous phenonmenon. I started the story with a bang, but by the time I reached chapter four, I was mired in the boredom of my own story.

So I stopped.

I stared at the computer screen for a while, folded some laundry, vacuumed the house, then went web surfing. Meanwhile, our own Sharla Lovelace announced her—then upcoming—book THE REASON IS YOU.

So I read the blurb.

The Reason Is You by Sharla Lovelace

The Reason Is You by Sharla Lovelace

In the small river town of Bethany, Dani Shane never fit in. Being different pushed her to the fringes of society, and even leaving town for two decades didn’t stop the talk. Now, with her sixteen year-old daughter Riley in tow, Dani is back in Bethany looking for a fresh start. Too bad her plans for staying under the radar are about to be thrown out the window.

Mischievous and sexy, Dani’s old friend Alex still has the power to rock her world, but there’s a big obstacle standing in their way–Alex has been dead for forty years. With a ghost popping up at inopportune moments and sparking conversations with her teenage daughter, Dani scrambles to find solid ground and get a grip–both on her sanity and her heart.

Somewhere between “With a ghost popping up at inopportune moments…” and “…sparking conversations with her teenage daughter…”, a new character, fully formed, popped into my thoughts. One who brought my story alive. One who caused my heroine both happiness and grief. One who would ultimately reveal the secrets of the past and help my heroine find true love again.

(In case you’re wondering, my character is very different from Sharla’s Alex, except for the ghost part and the snarky part. :))

From that moment on, WEDDING FEVER wrote itself. I laughed, I cried, and when I typed the end, I knew I had found my story magic.

But then I finished the book and started a new one. And now I’m looking for some new magic.

Where will I find it? Under the fridge? Within the pages of a magazine? Or perhaps one day I’ll stumble across two phrases that when put together, work their wonderful and mysterious magic on my brain.

If you’re looking to kill a few minutes on the internet this Sunday, join me for the Bandit Creek release party for WEDDING FEVER. The link will be on my blog Sunday morning. I’ll be giving away three (3) copies of the ebook. Hope to see you there!

If you’re a writer, where do you find your story magic lurking? And if you’re a reader, what makes a story magical for you?

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About Sheila Seabrook

Author of Single Title Romantic Comedy and Women's Fiction

Posted on July 11, 2012, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 33 Comments.

  1. Thank you so much for the shout-out, Sheila! And I’m honored that you found your inspiration in one of my characters. That’s what is so cool about this business, we all spark each other. Sarah Addison Allen’s GARDEN SPELLS is what inspired me. I had the story complete, but reading that gave me a whole new energy and outlook, and inspired me to go back and weave in some ideas that gave it new life. Looking forward to your release!!

  2. Can’t wait to read your ebook, Sheila! I get ideas for plots and characters in crazy places. For one book, I was watching the network news and this hunky DEA agent popped on the screen. A half hour later, I was watching PTI on ESPN and one of my very favorite columnists, Tony Kornheiser, was giving a shout out to his daughter who’d just become a pastry chef. And there it was, my adorable DEA agent and a pastry chef get caught up in busted drug raid and have to go on the run from the Russian mafia. It’s fun to be able to see people/events and make up a story all your own about them. 🙂 Your story will come to you, too!

    • It’s kind of like being in the right place at the right time, isn’t it, Tracy? I’m so looking forward to seeing your new cover in the fall, then reading your book next year. Can’t wait! 🙂

  3. I love to read what inspires writers and these are pretty cool. For me it’s usually an incident, usually pretty drastic, that changes a woman’s world. I then make her get through it and grow with it and come out the other side feeling stronger and happier.
    Patti

    • You are far deeper than me, Patti, and Moon Over Alcetraz reflects the depth of your emotions and understanding of the human spirit. I can’t wait to read your next book!

  4. I love how you were inspired, Sheila! Now I have to read the book! This is exactly why writers should never despair when they’re blocked. Inspiration and ideas come from the wildest places. Congrats on the upcoming release!

    • And yet we do despair, don’t we, Marcia? But it’s that moment when we let go, when we open our thoughts and ourselves to the universe that the magic happens. It feels like a bolt of lightening hitting the brain and I love it when it happens. 🙂

  5. I love the serendipitous convergence of coincidences and their resulting inspiration, epiphany, MAGIC! Call it what you like, it’s the spark that ignites the creative surge. As a reader, it’s the joy of zipping through a seamless plot with unexpected twists & turns, peopled with nuanced, witty personalities who engage interpersonally in plausible behaviours!

    Congratulations on the upcoming release of Wedding Fever, Sheila. Looking forward to joining the party on Sunday.

    • Zipping is the perfect word to describe what happens when we discover a story which grabs us. I need to remember your description because I love it.

      See you at the party on Sunday!

  6. Congrats on the upcoming release, Sheila! These moments are what a writer lives for, aren’t they? Serendipity. Always when you stop struggling, too. A good lesson for life in general. 🙂

  7. I love it when story magic happens and I can’t wait to read yours!

  8. Christy Hayes

    So thrilled to read your upcoming book! Story magic always strikes when you least expect it. I found it so refreshing to talk my plot out with my writing ladies over our last trip. Nothing helps me flesh out a story better than talking it out with my gals.

    • Bouncing ideas off of another person generates so many ideas and each time someone tosses out a new idea, it twigs another thoughts. You’re so lucky to have your group, Christy. 🙂

  9. Great post! I enjoyed reading what inspired you and can’t wait to read this book!

  10. Sheila, I ask myself several times a day: How did I ever get so lucky to meet so many talented writers? Patti, Sharla, members of my chapter … I also read Christy’s book (what a hoot) and will keep on track to read yours, dear friend.

    I write in different genres, but I’d have to admit the inspiration for my writing came from all the pages of all the wonderful and magical books I read growing up. Each time I crack open a new spine, click into my e-reader, I feel the joy of anticipation … I know yours will be a great read and I look forward to Sunday 🙂

  11. Can’t wait for WEDDING FEVER! Thanks for sharing the source of that book’s magic character–and for giving me a reason to vacuum and fold laundry less.

  12. great story of inspiration Sheila. thanks for sharing with us. I usually have my aha’s watching the news. or if I read a book and think “What? i would have written this this way. good luck on sunday

  13. Congrats on the upcoming release, Sheila! And what a great reminder of how important it is that we writers never stop READING, and enjoying others’ books!

  14. Hi Sheila, it’s good to find out your source of inspiration and happy new release! 🙂

  15. Look forward to your new release, Sheila! And talk about story magic, I’ll be posting Monday on my recent magical experience with Gone With the Wind…

  16. I hope I remember Sunday! I am so proud of you, sweetie.

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