I just finished reading The Help, by Kathryn Stockett—and it occurred to me that part of why I’ve been stuck on my story is that I haven’t gone inside myself and excavated. I have been writing a story I don’t passionately care about. I love my characters, I just don’t care about what they’re doing in their lives. I’d bored myself.
So I noodled, and I remembered a romance I read many years ago which had a [briefly] homeless woman as its heroine, and I remembered that that story had a huge impact on my life because it gave ‘homeless’ a face.
I’ve been playing with that, and now my heroine is a book-loving woman whose grief over the suicide of her son and the bankrupting medical bills, and is living on the streets and making money as a street artist (and avoiding the cops because she’s become a prolific graffiti artist, as well.) She’s maintained her anonymity so far, but that’s about to change….
I care about what this woman is doing, and I can’t wait to see how she finds her way out of the dark.