The difference between the writer and the wannabe writer is … one writes and the other, due to choice, chance or circumstance, thinks about writing rather than getting it done. That’s where I’ve been the last couple weeks. Thinking, reading, procrastinating.
From what I’ve read and been told, that’s not unusual, but it’s also what keeps a story in one’s head and not on paper.
I’m now in Part 3 – The Funeral of Cat Skinner: A Story of Lust, Love and Loss in the 1930’s. This is the final third of the story. Webb and his sister, Blanche, have exchanged personal information and experiences as they motor the 350 miles from Billings, Montana to Dunn Center, North Dakota on Friday, March 10, 1939. Their goal is to reach Dunn Center by 1 pm in time for Dorothy’s funeral.
The journey is more than watching the straight-as-an-arrow highway disappear beneath the spoke wheels of the 1930 Chevy. It is a journey for Webb to figure out, with the help of his sister, what kind of man he wants to be, the real thing or a wannabe. Is he going to think about what he should have done and what he should do now regarding his three-year-old daughter, LaReta, or is he going to do it.
I’ve been stuck these past few weeks trying to think my way to the end of the story. How do I pay homage to the real people who lived this story, show their perspectives, their feelings and fears, in a fictionalized version of the truth? Tonight is the first time I’ve gained a little traction. I’m letting the story tell me where it wants to go.
Hopefully, the story will reveal itself in a way that readers remain sympathetic to all the characters, including Webb, and in part, to this wannabe writer, his daughter.