There’s lots to love about creating art in your chosen medium. The thrill of the creation process, of the accomplishment.

For me, the most amazing thing about the gift to write is the surprises. I’m not a terribly good planner, so often when I write, I just take an idea, a visual, a sentence, and see where it takes me. And it often takes me places I didn’t expect.

I love when my characters surprise me. I love it when they show me a side of them I didn’t know, or do something unexpected in desperation, or find themselves in one of those “I never thought I’d” moments and I’d never thought either.

A good example of this is the Prologue to my novel, Mourn the Sun. It’s simple and short:


This is a private memoir and is not intended for any other audience. If you have found this, in spite of my efforts, please destroy it immediately.

I love that, because it is so evocative of my main character and sets the exact tone I want.

I can’t take any credit for it, though. He’s the one who put it there. And no, I’m not schizophrenic. But when I got to the final chapter of the book, I realized that Jacob would never write this for anyone else to read. In the final chapter he’s pretty adamant about not wanting anyone to know the things he’d just written.

But how jarring would that be at the end of the book that you’d just read. “You were never supposed to read this.” Wouldn’t your first thought be, “Well it’s a fine time to tell me, now that I already have!”

Of course, that begs the question, why would he write it in the first place, and I assure you, there’s a good reason. But I needed that statement to ring true by the time you got there. So I put his statement at the beginning: ‘don’t read this, it’s private.’

And it’s one of the best things in the whole book, I think, as far as the bang you get for the buck. And it wasn’t my idea, Jacob’s the one who insisted on it.

That’s one of the best things about writing, I think.

If you’re a writer, what’s your favorite thing about writing?