In my May 18 post, I mentioned the difficulties I’ve been having writing the fifth book in the Me and My Friend Maddie Gothic Book Series. Contrary to what I previously posted, I decided not to give up on basing it on the 1970s horror film Race with the Devil, and so I watched it again. In doing so, I realized why I was hitting a brick wall with my own story. The impetus for that film is violence, as it is in most horror films. Trying to escape violence is what consistently propels the story forward. I don’t want violence to be the impetus of the new Maddie and her BFF book, yet I couldn’t find another way to drive their road trip story without it. This problem led to days of not writing at all, which quickly led to feelings of despair.
Today, I sat down and decided to just write the story with no guidelines in mind, nor any outlined sequence of events as I always have before I start writing anything. I just let the characters be themselves and let that guide their story. It was almost like free writing. In watching what unfolded, I began to see that their road trip story could in fact become a story about love. I’ve never written like this before, with no predetermined story structure, but I’m going to just go with it because at least I’m writing something. And to my amazement, I’m slowly discovering a way to still base the story loosely on that horror film, without needing the violence.